Measles case notified in Canberra


Released 09/01/2014

ACT Chief Health Officer, Dr Paul Kelly today alerted Canberrans to be aware of measles symptoms after a case was notified to ACT Health on Tuesday 7 January.

The case, which is the first notified measles case in the ACT since 2011, attended the 'World Supremacy Battlegrounds' Hip Hop dance competition that was held at Sydney Olympic Park on 7 and 8 December 2013.

"The dance competition is the likely source of infection and ACT Health is aware of other cases across Australia and New Zealand who had also attended the event," Dr Paul Kelly said.

"We're advising anyone who attended the dance competition or anyone potentially exposed to the ACT case to seek medical advice if they develop symptoms.

"People who may have been exposed to the ACT case include:

  • Anyone who attended Calwell High School on Thursday 19 and Friday 20 December 2013;
  • Anyone who was at the Harem Turkish Restaurant in Kingston from 6.30pm on Thursday 19 December 2013; and
  • Anyone who visited the Capital Chemist in Kingston on Friday 20 December 2013 after 4.00pm.

"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.  People are infectious from 5 days before they develop a rash until 4 days after," Dr Paul Kelly said.

"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.

"I've also written to GP's today encouraging immunisation of those who are susceptible to measles, and seeking the testing and urgent notification of individuals who present with measles symptoms.

"The most effective protection against measles is vaccination. Two doses of Measles Mumps Rubella vaccine (MMR) are recommended and are normally given to children at 12 months and 18 months of age.  However the vaccine can be given at any age," Dr Paul Kelly concluded.

ACT Health has information about measles online at: www.health.act.gov.au/publications-reports/fact-sheets/measles.

- Statement ends -

Section: ACT Health Directorate | Media Releases

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