Public health warning issued after traveller returns to Sydney with measles

Public health warning issued after traveller returns to Sydney with measles
  • PublishedOctober 6, 2023

An urgent warning is in place after a confirmed case of measles on an international flight.

The infected passenger arrived in Sydney at 7am on Monday October 2.

It is believed the adult passenger acquired their infection while travelling in Africa.

Anyone on flight QF128 from Hong Kong to Sydney or who was in the Terminal 1 International Arrivals area on Monday morning should monitor for symptoms, NSW Health says.

Symptoms include fever, sore eyes and a cough followed by a red blotchy rash which spreads from the head and neck to the rest of the body.

Young children and infants can also experience diarrhoea.

Measles is a highly contagious disease which can spread through coughing and sneezing.

Due to high levels of vaccination, it is now rare in Australia but can cause serious illness and as many as one in three people with measles end up in hospital.

Measles can lead to a nasty rash and people with it often end up in hospital. Picture: Supplied

Measles can lead to a nasty rash and people with it often end up in hospital. Picture: Supplied

The aircraft and terminal do not pose an ongoing risk but anyone who is susceptible to measles who was either on the flight or in the terminal at those times should keep their eye out for symptoms until Wednesday October 20.

“Those most likely to be susceptible to measles are infants under 12 months of age who are too young to be vaccinated, anyone who is not fully vaccinated against the disease, which may include some adults; and people with a weakened immune system,” Associate Director Northern Sydney Public Health Unit Dr Sean Tobin said.

People who aren’t sure if they are fully vaccinated should consult their GP and get an extra shot as additional doses are safe, according to NSW Health.

Symptoms generally start about 10 days after exposure but can take as many as 18 days to occur.

“Stay vigilant,” Dr Tobin warned.

“If you develop symptoms, please call ahead to your GP or emergency department to ensure you do not spend time in the waiting room with other patients.”

Little ones are particularly at risk. Picture: Supplied

Little ones are particularly at risk. Picture: Supplied

With a recent boost in international travel due to school holidays, the number of measles cases in the country is only expected to grow.

A travel alert was issued in August after a tourist brought it back with them from Bali, while South Australia recorded its first case since 2019 in March after a three-year-old boy caught an infection overseas.

SOURCE: NEWS.COM

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