Measles case notified in Canberra

Released 27/10/2017

Acting ACT Chief Health Officer, Dr Paul Dugdale, is alerting the Canberra community to be aware of measles symptoms following confirmation of a case of measles by ACT Health.

Dr Dugdale said the individual had acquired the infection on a recent overseas trip and that this was the first case of measles to be notified in the ACT this year. No further cases have been notified to ACT Health to date.

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

“This includes members of the public who may have been exposed to the case at the Asian Noodle House in Dickson between 7pm and 8.30pm and the Chemist on Northborne between 7.45pm and 8.45pm on the evening of Tuesday 17 October 2017 while infectious.

“People who attended these premises at these times should be aware for signs and symptoms of measles from now until 4 November 2017.

“Anyone with symptoms of measles who need to seek medical advice should advise their health care 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,” Dr Dugdale said.

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.

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

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

“This case of measles, the first for the ACT this year, is a 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 to provide adequate immunity, and although the vaccine is normally given to children at 12 months and 18 months of age, it can be given at any age after 9 months.

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

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

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Media contacts:   ACT Health Media M 0403 344 080 E healthmedia@act.gov.au

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Section: ACT Health Directorate | Media Releases


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