Alert Issued For Measles Outbreak In Australia

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The highly-infectious disease has a long incubation period.

Australians are warned to be on the alert after two travellers contracted measles mid-March.

NSW Health has released the warning after the young travellers picked up the disease on holiday in the Philippines. They were unwell and infectious during their return flights to the Gold Coast via Singapore.

“Anyone who develops symptoms should call ahead to their GP to ensure they’re not in the waiting room with other patients," Greg Bell, Acting Director of Public Health for the Mid North Coast and Northern NSW Local Health Districts, said in a statement.

According to NSW Health, symptoms of measles include fever, sore eyes and a cough followed three or four days later by a red, blotchy rash spreading from the head and neck to the body.

Preventive injections can be given to highly-susceptible people up to six days after exposure to measles.

NSW Health report the individuals as present in the below locations while infectious:

  • Scoot flight TR6, which departed Singapore on Friday 29 March and arrived at Coolangatta International Airport at 8:10am Saturday 30 March before travelling from Coolangatta International Airport to Pottsville via Uber.
  • Visited shops in Pottsville and Cabarita, including IGA at Pottsville and Woolworths at Cabarita (Tuesday 2 April)
  • Attended Main Street Medical centre in Murwillumbah, The Tweed Hospital Emergency Department (Wednesday 3 April)
  • The Tweed Hospital Emergency Department (Thursday 4 April).

According to NSW Health, measles is highly contagious and is spread in the air through coughing or sneezing by someone who is unwell with the disease.

While the risk of infection is low in fully-vaccinated people, health experts urge anyone who comes into contact with someone who has measles to remain alert for symptoms. They should limit their exposure to others and seek medical care if symptoms develop.

Image: Getty

Written By Ally Parker

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