19 October 2019

New measles alert

Note: This is not related to the recent cluster of cases of measles in the south of Perth but is a WA resident who contracted measles during a holiday in New Zealand.

Western Australians are being asked to be alert to the risk of measles following a confirmed measles illness in a person who visited several public areas in the Perth metropolitan area, between 14 October and 19 October.   

Children and adults who have been inadvertently exposed are at risk of developing measles if they are not already immune. Individuals should remain vigilant for the onset of measles symptoms for the next three weeks if they are not immune to measles and were present at the following venues, during the specified days and times:

Monday 14 October

  • Kettle Café, Lathlain – 6.30am to 7.00am
  • Little People’s Place, Forrest St, Mt Lawley – 3.30pm to 4pm
  • Nido Early School, Carlisle – 4.10pm to 4.40pm

Tuesday, 15 October

  • Kettle Café, Lathlain –  6.30am to 7.00am
  • Subway, Whitham Rd Perth Airport precinct (not the airport terminal) –  12 noon to 12.30pm

Wednesday, 16 October:

  • Kettle Café, Lathlain – 6.30am to 7.00am
  • Modern Cafe, Whitham Rd, Perth Airport precinct (not airport terminal), 12 noon to 12.30pm

Thursday, 10 October:

  • Nido Early School, Carlisle – 4.10pm to 4.40pm                                       

Saturday 19 October:

  • Belmont Forum, in and around K Mart and Big W (morning)

This case is not related to the recent cluster of cases of measles in the south of Perth but is a WA resident who contracted measles during a holiday in New Zealand.

Measles is a serious and highly contagious viral illness spread when infected people cough and sneeze. Being in the same room in, or after, someone with measles can result in infection in people who are not immune.

People with measles typically develop symptoms approximately 10 to 18 days after exposure.  Early symptoms include fever, cough, runny nose and sore eyes, followed by a red blotchy rash three or four days later. The rash usually starts on the face and spreads to the rest of the body.   

Complications following measles can be serious and include ear infections and pneumonia in about 10 per cent of cases. Around one in every five people will require hospital admission and about one person in every 1,000 will develop encephalitis – inflammation of the brain.

Persons born prior to 1966 are usually immune to measles because they had the illness as a child. People born from 1966 are requested to check that they have been vaccinated against the illness. It is also an important travel vaccine for those planning to visit countries with measles. Parents are urged to make sure their children receive measles vaccinations on schedule, which is at 12 and 18 months of age.

There is a newly funded adult measles immunisation campaign offering two doses of vaccine for all people born from 1966 who are not immunised. Vaccination can be provided by your GP or your usual immunisation provider.

Anyone who thinks they may have measles should call ahead to a clinic or Emergency Department so that they can be isolated from infecting other patients and staff when they arrive.

People who are concerned they may have measles and require medical advice after hours can also contact Health direct on 1800 022 222.

To learn more about measles, visit the HealthyWA website (external site).

ENDS

Media contact: 9222 4333

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