Victoria’s chief health officer, Dr Brett Sutton, has issued a measles alert for a number of Melbourne locations after a man in his twenties was diagnosed with the illness. This is the 44th confirmed case in Victoria this year.
“People who are planning overseas travel should ensure they have received vaccinations appropriate to travel, including an MMR [measles, mumps and rubella] vaccine if they do not have a history of two previous MMR vaccinations,” Dr Sutton said in a statement.
The patient was infectious on Air New Zealand flight NZ721 from Auckland to Melbourne, arriving at 9.54am on Thursday November 14. He then travelled through terminal 2 at Tullamarine Airport, took the 11.15am Skybus to Southern Cross Station and a 12.52pm V/Line train to Shepparton, transiting at Shepparton train station from 3.30pm until 4.30pm.
Currently, none of the locations pose an ongoing risk, but people who visited the areas on those dates should be alert for measles symptoms until December 2. It can take up to 18 days for symptoms to present following exposure.
“Free MMR vaccine is now available from GPs and some pharmacies for all eligible people born during or since 1966," Dr Sutton said. "Patients unsure of their vaccination status, or [who] are aged over 18 months and have only had one vaccine, should be vaccinated.”
There are current measles outbreaks in New Zealand, the Pacific Islands, Asia, Europe and America. Measles symptoms include rash, fever, conjunctivitis and severe coughing. If you experience symptoms, visit your GP.
More information on measles can be found at health.vic.gov.au.