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Monday, September 23rd, 2019

Gym, cafe health alert after air passenger contracts measles

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by October 27, 2016 General

A health alert has been issued over an increased risk of measles after a confirmed diagnosis in a passenger who was infected during holidays in Japan.

The Health Department said the man was infectious to others on the flight home to Perth between October 20 and 21.

It also warned people could have been exposed to the infection at several locations around Perth, including medical centres, a gym and a café.

Measles is a serious and highly contagious viral illness spread by tiny droplets released when infected people cough and sneeze.

The passenger’s first flight was SQ633 from Tokyo, arriving in Singapore at about 11pm on Thursday, October 20.

He then flew from Singapore to Perth on Singapore Airlines flight SQ225, arriving at Perth’s international terminal about5.15am on Friday, October 21.

People who were on the flights, especially those seated around the ill passenger, were potentially exposed and may be at risk of measles.

He also attended the Mead Medical Centre in Forrestfield on that Friday between 11am and 12noon and later the St John of God Pathology collection centre in Forrestfield, near the medical centre, on Monday between 11.20am and 12.30pm.

The public could have also been exposed to measles on the same day at:

  • Jetts 24-Hour Fitness in Forrestfield between 11.30am and 12.40pm;
  • Dome café in Kalamunda on Monday between 2pm and 4pm; and
  • The Pathwest Collection Centre at Kalamunda Hospital between 4.30pm and 5pm.

WA Health medical epidemiologist Dr Gary Dowse said public health staff had been contacting potentially exposed people directly where they were known, but it was not possible to identify and specifically warn people who were in public places.

“Measles is contagious for about four days before and after the development of the rash,” Dr Dowse said.

“Children and adults who have been unwittingly exposed are at risk of developing measles if they are not immune.

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“A person is considered immune to measles if they have previously received two doses of a measles vaccine or were born before 1966.”

Dr Dowse said individuals who developed a fever with other symptoms – including cough, runny nose, sore red eyes and a rash – within two to three weeks of potential exposure to someone with measles, should stay at home and consult their doctor.

“Anyone who thinks they are infected should call ahead and mention their possible contact with measles so they can be isolated when they arrive at the GP surgery or emergency department, to prevent infecting other patients and staff,” Dr Dowse said.

Early symptoms include fever, cough, runny nose and sore eyes, followed by a red blotchy rash about three days later.

The rash usually starts on the face and spreads to the rest of the body. Measles infections can be especially severe in infants and people with poor immune systems.

Naturally occurring measles has been eliminated from WA for about 20 years.


The West Australian

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