Measles case notified in Canberra 17.02.15


Released 17/02/2015

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 17 February 2015.

Dr Kelly said "The case acquired the infection on a recent overseas trip, and this is the first case of measles to be notified to ACT Health in 2015.

"The Health Protection Service (HPS) is following-up identified contacts in line with national guidelines.  This includes contacts on an international flight, in a GP surgery and Canberra Hospital Pathology Department where the case attended.  People who were potentially exposed to the case at these locations have been identified and are being contacted directly," Dr Kelly said.  

"Members of the public may also have been exposed to the case at Woolworths in Conder on Thursday 12 February 2015, between 7:30pm and 9:00pm.

"We're advising anyone who attended this shopping centre during these times to be aware for symptoms and to seek medical advice if they develop symptoms.

"Anyone with symptoms of measles should advise their health provider before they arrive at the medical clinic 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 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 five days before they develop a rash until four days after," Dr 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.

"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 after nine months," Dr Kelly said.

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

- Statement ends -

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