Schoolies warned about measles
Acting chief health officer Michael Ackland warns teenagers planning overseas trips to make sure they are immunised after five Victorian's were diagnosed with measles on return from BaliPT0M32S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-2xe3l 620 349 November 12, 2013
Five Victorians have been diagnosed with measles after returning from Bali over the past five weeks, prompting warnings for people to be vaccinated before travelling to Indonesia.
Victoria's acting chief health officer Michael Ackland said the five people diagnosed following their travels had passed on the disease to a further three people in Victoria.
A health department spokesman said four adults and a child younger than 10 had contracted measles while in Bali, and spread the disease to three children under 10 on their return to Victoria.
Clusters of measles cases have also been reported in other states following an outbreak of the infectious disease in Indonesia.
Dr Ackland said young people who had not been vaccinated were most at risk of contracting measles, as well as adults aged between 33 and 47 because many people in that age group had not been vaccinated as children.
He said doctors should recommend two doses of measles vaccine to patients planning to travel to Bali who had not previously had measles or been vaccinated.
If patients were travelling within the next month they should have one dose before departure and a second dose upon return to Australia, he said.
Measles is a highly infectious viral disease that can cause serious illness including pneumonia, with people diagnosed often requiring treatment in hospital.
Dr Ackland said measles usually began with common cold symptoms including fever, sore throat, red eyes and a cough.
A rash usually begins three to seven days after the first symptoms, often starting on the face and then spreading to the rest of the body.
"Anyone developing these symptoms and planning to visit a GP or hospital is advised to ring ahead to alert them that they have fever and a rash," he said.
"If you know you have been in contact with a measles case please alert your GP or hospital emergency department, [which] will then be able to provide treatment in a way that minimises exposure or transmission to other patients."