30 August 2018

Health alert: Where you may have been exposed to measles case

| Ian Bushnell
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Measles vaccination

ACT Health says vaccination remains the best protection against measles.

ACT Health has issued a measles alert, warning that people may have been in contact with a person who contracted the disease on a recent overseas trip.

Acting ACT Chief Health Officer, Dr Kerryn Coleman, says the community should be aware of measles symptoms following confirmation of this single case, and a list of possible contact points has been issued.

“The Health Protection Service (HPS) is following-up identified contacts in line with national guidelines,” Dr Coleman said.

This includes members of the public who may have been exposed to the case while infectious on:

  • Friday, 24 August 2018 – South.Point (Tuggeranong Hyperdome) – food court and Bags to Go store.
  • Saturday 25 August 2018 – South.Point (Tuggeranong Hyperdome) – food court and Bags to Go store.
  • Sunday 26 August 2018 – Canberra Outlet Centre, Fyshwick – RM Williams and Canterbury stores.
  • Tuesday 28 August 2018, morning – South.Point (Tuggeranong Hyperdome) – Bags to Go store, Discount Drug Store and Woolworths.

“People who attended these premises at these times should be aware for signs and symptoms of measles from now until 15 September 2018,” Dr Coleman said.

“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.”

The symptoms of measles may include fever, tiredness, runny nose, sore eyes and a cough, followed by a rash which appears two to seven days later.

People generally develop symptoms seven to 18 days after being exposed to a person with infectious measles, with 10 days being more common. People are infectious from four days before they develop a rash until four days after.

“Measles is a serious disease and is highly contagious among people who are not fully immunised,” Dr Coleman said.

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

“Whenever a case of measles is identified in the ACT or surrounding regions, 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 recommended and usually given to children at 12 and 18 months of age.

“I encourage everyone in the community to check their immunisation status and get up to date if needed.”

For information about measles go to https://www.health.act.gov.au/sites/default/files//Fact%20sheets/Measles.pdf

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