Health alert: Measles case notified in Canberra

ACT Public Health Physician Dr Kerryn Coleman is alerting the community to be aware of measles symptoms following confirmation of a case of measles in the ACT. Dr Coleman said the ACT resident had acquired the infection on a recent overseas trip. To date, no further cases linked to this case have been notified to ACT Health. “ACT Health is currently investigating and can confirm no further cases are linked to this one at this stage,” Dr Coleman said.

ACT Public Health Physician Dr Kerryn Coleman is alerting the community to be aware of measles symptoms following confirmation of a case of measles in the ACT.

Dr Coleman said the ACT resident had acquired the infection on a recent overseas trip. To date, no further cases linked to this case have been notified to ACT Health.

“ACT Health is currently investigating and can confirm no further cases are linked to this one at this stage,” Dr Coleman said.

“The person attended the Canberra Airport between 10am and 11am on Sunday 3 February 2019 while infectious and as part of our investigations, we are following-up identified contacts at this venue in that time period.

“Anyone who was at the Canberra Airport on that Sunday should be aware for signs and symptoms of measles from now until 24 February 2019.

“We urge anyone with symptoms of measles to seek medical advice and to advise their health care provider before arriving at the clinic so that appropriate infection control precautions can be put in place to stop the spread of infection.

“Measles continues to circulate in many overseas countries, so we urge people travelling overseas should check their immune status before they leave.

“The symptoms of measles may include:

  • fever, tiredness, runny nose, sore eyes and a cough, followed by a rash which appears 2-7 days later;
  • people generally develop symptoms 7-18 days after being exposed to a person with infectious measles, with 10 days being more common; and
  • people are infectious from 5 days before they develop a rash until 4 days after.

“Measles can be highly contagious among people who are not fully immunised. This is a timely reminder for Canberrans to ensure their vaccinations are up to date.

“People born in 1966 and later who do not have two recorded doses of MMR vaccine are also considered susceptible to measles.

“Under the funded Australian National Immunisation Program, two doses of MMR vaccine are given to children at 12 and 18 months of age.

“The ACT Government funds measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine for adults. Anyone born in or after 1966 who have not previously received two measles containing vaccines is eligible for free MMR vaccine. This can be obtained from ACT GPs,” Dr Coleman said.

Page last updated on: 8 Feb 2019