Health alert on measles spread
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.