ACT Health warns Canberra of measles case

ACT Health is warning the Canberra community to stay alert after a person was found to have the “highly contagious” and “serious” disease, measles, says acting ACT chief health officer, Dr Paul Dugdale.

Dr Dugdale says the individual acquired the infection on a recent overseas trip.

He is calling for members of the public who were at Asian Noodle House in Dickson between 7pm and 8.30pm and the Chemist on Northborne between 7.45pm and 8.45pm on Tuesday, October 17, to be aware of the signs and symptoms from now until November 4. 

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

The symptoms of measles may include fever, tiredness, runny nose, sore eyes and a cough, followed by a rash, which appears two to seven days later.

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

“Measles is a serious disease and is highly contagious among people who are not fully immunised,” Dr Dugdale says.

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

“This case of measles, the first for the ACT this year, is a reminder that the best way to protect yourself and your family against measles is vaccination. 

“Two doses of Measles Mumps Rubella vaccine (MMR) are recommended to provide adequate immunity, and although the vaccine is normally given to children at 12 months and 18 months of age, it can be given at any age after nine months.

“I encourage everyone in the community to check their immunisation status and get up to date if needed.”

This is the first case of measles to be notified in the ACT this year.

ACT Health has information about measles online at health.act.gov.au/publications-reports/fact-sheets/measles.

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