If you were in Kaleen on Wednesday be on the lookout for measles

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ACT Acting Chief Health Officer, Dr Andrew Pengilley is alerting Canberrans to be aware of measles symptoms after a case was notified to ACT Health on Friday 18 July 2014.

“The Health Protection Service is following-up identified contacts in line with national guidelines,” Dr Pengilley said.

“This includes contacts in a GP surgery located on the north side of Canberra and Canberra Hospital Emergency Department where the case attended. These contacts have been identified and are being followed up directly.

“Members of the public may also have been exposed to the case at the Kaleen Plaza Shopping Centre and Kaleen Supabarn between 10am and 12noon on Wednesday 16 July 2014.

“We’re advising anyone who attended this shopping centre at these times to be aware for symptoms and to seek medical advice if they develop symptoms.

“The symptoms of measles may include fever, tiredness, runny nose, sore eyes and a cough, followed by a rash which appears 2-7 days later. 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 5 days before they develop a rash until 4 days after,” Dr Pengilley said.

“Measles is a potentially serious disease and is highly contagious among people who are not fully immunised. The virus is spread from an infectious person during coughing and sneezing or through direct contact with secretions from the nose or mouth.

“Anyone with symptoms of measles should advise their health 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.

“The most effective protection against measles is vaccination. Two doses of Measles Mumps Rubella vaccine (MMR) are recommended and are normally given to children at 12 months and 18 months of age. However the vaccine can be given at any age after 9 months,” Dr Pengilley concluded.

ACT Health has information about measles online.

[Photo by Dave Haygarth, attribution licence]

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