Health alert: Community advised to be aware of measles symptoms

The community is being advised to be aware of measles symptoms with a recent traveller transiting through the Canberra Airport while infectious.

The community is being advised to be aware of measles symptoms with a recent traveller transiting through the Canberra Airport while infectious. 

Acting Chief Health Officer Dr Kerryn Coleman said the person’s travel in and out of Canberra was on Thursday 21 March 2019 and included:

  • flight QF1543 from Brisbane to Canberra arriving at 8 am; and
  • flight QF809 from Canberra to Melbourne departing at 8.49 am.

“Anyone who was on the identified flights in and out of Canberra or in the Canberra Airport departure terminal between 8-10am on that day, should be aware for signs and symptoms of measles between now and Tuesday 9 April 2019,” Dr Coleman said.

“Symptoms of measles may include fever, tiredness, runny nose, sore eyes and a cough, followed by a rash which appears 2-7 days later.

“Anyone with symptoms of measles should seek medical advice, advising their health care provider before they arrive so that appropriate infection control precautions can be put in place to stop the spread of the infection.

“People generally develop symptoms 7-18 days after being exposed to a person with infectious measles, with 10 days being more common. People are infectious from approximately 4 days before they develop a rash until 4 days after. 

“Measles is a serious disease and is highly contagious among people who are not fully immunised.

“The virus is spread from an infectious person during coughing and sneezing or through direct contact with secretions from the nose or mouth.

“Whenever measles is identified, it is a strong reminder that the best way to protect yourself and your family against measles is vaccination.

"Two doses of Measles Mumps Rubella vaccine (MMR) are required for immunity against measles and are given to children in Australia at 12 and 18 months of age. However, the vaccine can be given at any age after 9 months.

“Measles continues to circulate in many overseas countries, so people travelling should check their immune status before leaving home,” Dr Coleman said.

For further information about measles, visit the ACT Health website at: https://www.health.act.gov.au/sites/default/files/2018-09/Measles.pdf

Page last updated on: 27 Mar 2019