Health alert on measles spread

Euroa Gazette - - NEWS -

THE Depart­ment of Health and Hu­man Ser­vices has alerted Vic­to­ri­ans to the signs and symp­toms of measles fol­low­ing two new cases – one of whom at­tended the pre­lim­i­nary fi­nal at the MCG on Sat­ur­day, Septem­ber 23.

Deputy Chief Health Of­fi­cer Dr Brett Sut­ton said both th­ese cases had vis­ited a num­ber of places be­tween Septem­ber 20 and Septem­ber 23 while they were in­fec­tious, but be­fore they were di­ag­nosed.

The lo­ca­tions vis­ited in­cluded Church Street, Vic­to­ria Street, Punt Road and Swan Street, (Rich­mond), The Posty Bar (Rich­mond), MCG – AFL pre­lim­i­nary fi­nal (Gate 5, Level 4) Sec­tion Q13, Row Y, Seat 12 - all on Septem­ber 23.

“Measles has an in­cu­ba­tion pe­riod of up to 18 days so those at risk of measles who vis­ited th­ese lo­ca­tions might show symp­toms up un­til Oc­to­ber 13,” Dr Sut­ton said.

“Peo­ple can develop pneu­mo­nia and other se­ri­ous com­pli­ca­tions from the dis­ease, and those with measles of­ten need to be hos­pi­talised.”

Dr Sut­ton said peo­ple at risk of measles should be vig­i­lant and aware of the symp­toms.

“The ill­ness usu­ally be­gins with com­mon cold symp­toms such as runny nose, red eyes and a cough, fol­lowed by fever and rash,” Dr Sut­ton said.

“The char­ac­ter­is­tic measles rash usu­ally be­gins 3-7 days af­ter the first symp­toms, gen­er­ally start­ing on the face and then spread­ing to the rest of the body.

“Any­one de­vel­op­ing symp­toms is ad­vised to ring ahead to their GP or hospi­tal first and tell them that they have fever and a rash.”

It is im­por­tant to con­tinue im­mu­nis­ing chil­dren be­cause of the risk the in­fec­tion can be brought in by trav­ellers ar­riv­ing from over­seas.

Dr Sut­ton said most cases of measles in Vic­to­ria were linked to in­ter­na­tional travel, with the dis­ease more preva­lent in many coun­tries over­seas, es­pe­cially in Bali at present.

For more in­for­ma­tion about measles go to https://www. bet­ter­health.vic.gov.au/health/ con­di­tion­sandtreat­ments/ measles.

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