The Victoria State Government has issued a health alert following a new confirmed case of measles in Melbourne.
Victoria Deputy Chief Health Officer Dr Brett Sutton says the latest case may be linked to an earlier reported case from March 2018, bringing the total number of measles cases since March 2018 to 14.
“Seven of the confirmed cases are linked to a previously reported case who was infectious on flight D7214 from Kuala Lumpur to Melbourne, and in Tullamarine airport on Wednesday 7 March from 9.30am until midday,” he said in a statement.
“Three of the additional confirmed cases of measles were likely to have been acquired overseas, in different locations, with one case directly linked to one of these confirmed cases.”
The latest case has been identified as a rough sleeper and has attended a number of locations in and around Melbourne over the last fortnight whilst infectious.
These include the Coburg Motor Inn (March 29 to April 3), Launch Housing in St Kilda (March 29 and April 4), the Engagement Hub in St Kilda (April 4) and the Jam Factory South Yarra (April 4).
Authorities say cases may still emerge from the below sites previously listed and linked to earlier cases:
- Thursday 22 March – Woolworths Echuca from 1pm to 2.30pm
- Friday 23 March – Langwarrin Discount Pharmacy 10.00am
- Saturday 24 March – Waterside Bar, Flinders St Melbourne 10pm to midnight
- Sunday 25 March – The Classic Pizza House Langwarrin 5.00pm
Further sites may be added as cases are confirmed, however none of the sites above need to be avoided now as they do not pose an ongoing risk to visitors.
As measles is highly infectious through airborne transmission, other secondary cases may occur in susceptible people.
Measles has an incubation period of between seven and 18 days (average 14 days from exposure to rash) so should be considered in the differential diagnosis of any susceptible person who presents with a compatible illness, with an onset date between 29 March and 22 April 2018.
Particular attention should be given to patients who identify as rough sleepers or attend homeless accommodation services.
Anyone who presents with signs and symptoms compatible with measles should be immediately notified to the Department on 1300 651 160 and tested.
Do not wait for test results before notifying. There should be an especially high index of suspicion if the patient has attended any of the areas stated above and are unvaccinated or partially vaccinated for measles.
Who is at risk?
Children or adults born during or since 1966 who do not have documented evidence of receiving two doses of a measles-containing vaccine or do not have documented evidence of immunity are considered to be susceptible to measles. People who are immunocompromised are also at risk.
Symptoms and transmission
Clinical features of measles include prodromal fever, a severe cough, conjunctivitis and coryza. Individuals are typically unwell, especially children.
The most important clinical predictors are a generalised, maculopapular rash, usually lasting three or more days, a fever (at least 38°C, if measured) present at the time of rash onset, and a cough, coryza or conjunctivitis.
The infectious period of patients with measles is roughly five days before, to four days after, the appearance of the rash.