Doctors urge people to watch for measles symptoms after Canberra case
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Doctors urge people to watch for measles symptoms after Canberra case

Doctors are calling on people travelling overseas to make sure they are vaccinated after a case of measles was confirmed in the ACT.

ACT public health doctor Kerryn Coleman has urged anyone who has visited a number of public places in Melbourne and Canberra to watch for symptoms.

A measles case has been confirmed in Canberra.

A measles case has been confirmed in Canberra.

She said the person infected by measles attended the following public places while infectious:

Monday December 10, 2018

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  • The UNITE 2018 – Syro Malabar National Youth Conference at Philip Island Adventure Resort, Cowes, VICTORIA

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

  • Tiger Air Flight TT65 from Melbourne (departed 11.30am) to Canberra (landed 12.30pm)
  • Melbourne Domestic and Canberra Airports

Wednesday December 12, 2018

  • Spice World, Colbee Court, Phillip ACT (afternoon/evening)

Thursday December 13, 2018

  • Woolworths, Westfield Woden Shopping Centre, Phillip ACT (morning)

Dr Coleman said people who attended these sites at these times should be aware of symptoms of measles from now until January 4.

"These may include fever, tiredness, runny nose, sore eyes and a cough, followed by a rash which appears 2-7 days later,” Dr Coleman said.

“Anyone with symptoms of measles should seek medical advice, advising their health care provider before they arrive so that appropriate infection control precautions can be put in place to stop the spread of the infection.”

People generally develop symptoms 7-18 days after being exposed to a person with infectious measles, with 10 days being more common. People are infectious from 4 days before they develop a rash until 4 days after.

Dr Coleman said there were no other linked cases of measles identified.

“As part of our investigations, we are following-up identified contacts in line with national guidelines," she said.

Dr Coleman said measles was a serious disease and highly contagious among people who are not fully immunised.

It is spread from an infectious person during coughing and sneezing or through direct contact with secretions from the nose or mouth.

“Whenever a case of measles is identified in our community, it is a strong reminder that the best way to protect yourself and your family against measles is vaccination," Dr Coleman said.

"Two doses of Measles Mumps Rubella vaccine are required for immunity against measles and are given to children in Australia at 12 and 18 months of age. However, the vaccine can be given at any age after nine months.

“With many travelling over the holiday period in the next few weeks, we are encouraging people to check their immunisation status and get up to date if needed before travelling."

Daniella White is a reporter for The Canberra Times with a special focus on health issues

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