Measles alert for Victoria

Three pharmacies are listed among locations visited this month by a number of people with confirmed cases of measles

On Wednesday 7 March, a man travelling on flight D7214 from Kuala Lumpur to Melbourne became unwell, and went to hospital after he disembarked at Tullamarine Airport.

Dr Brett Sutton, Deputy Chief Health Officer, Victoria, has now confirmed that there have been a further seven cases of measles in Melbourne which may be linked to the case.

He warns that anyone else who was on this flight, or at Tullamarine International Airport between 9.30am and midday on Wednesday 7 March, may be at risk of contracting measles if they are not immune and may already be unwell.

These seven people visited a number of locations in and around Melbourne during the time when they were infectious.

These included:

  • Amcal Pharmacy Echuca from 1.30-2.30pm on Monday 19 March;
  • Chemist Warehouse on Plenty Road, Bundoona from 4-5pm on Monday 19 March; and
  • Pharmasafe Chemist Plenty Road Watsonia, from 4-5pm on Tuesday, 20 March.

None of the sites need to be avoided now as they do not pose an ongoing risk to visitors, the warning states.

However, susceptible patients who were at these sites at the dates and times specified have been advised to be alert for measles for up to 18 days after their exposure.

Health professionals have also been advised to be alert for measles in patients presenting with a fever at the onset of rash.

They should avoid sending suspected cases to an emergency department unless the person with symptoms is ill enough to be admitted.

Clinical features of measles include prodromal fever, a severe cough, conjunctivitis and coryza.

Individuals are typically unwell, especially children.

The most important clinical predictors are the following features:

  • generalised, maculopapular rash, usually lasting three or more days, AND
  • fever (at least 38°C, if measured) present at the time of rash onset, AND
  • cough, coryza or conjunctivitis.

There had previously been three confirmed cases of measles in March this year, though these infections were likely to have been acquired overseas in different locations.

Full list of sites visited by infectious persons:

  • Saturday 3 March – Flinders Backpackers (Elizabeth Street, Melbourne), Flinders Street Railway Station, tram routes 16 and 96 to and from St. Kilda beach, St Kilda beach
  • Sunday 4 March – Flinders Backpackers, Coles Central (Flinders and Elizabeth St), McDonalds (Elizabeth St)
  • Monday 5 March – Flinders Backpackers, Phillip Island: Nobbies Visitor Centre Café
  • Tuesday 6 March – Flinders Backpackers, Westpac bank (Elizabeth Street), Medicare office (Galleria Shopping Centre, Bourke Street)
  • Wednesday 7 March – Flinders Backpackers, multiple sites along the Great Ocean Road between Geelong and Warrnambool
  • Wednesday 7 March – AirAsia flight D7214 from Kuala Lumpur to Melbourne and at Tullamarine Airport from 9.30am until midday
  • Saturday 10 March – Qantas flight QF44 from Denpasar to Sydney arriving at 6.25am, Qantas flight QF415 from Sydney to Melbourne, arriving at 10.35am, Tullamarine Airport until midday and Lentil as Anything restaurant at Abbotsford Convent from 2pm until 3pm
  • Wednesday 14 March – Woolworths Kew from 12pm until 2.30pm
  • Friday 16 March – Cardinia Life Leisure Centre, Pakenham 9.30 until 11pm
  • Saturday 17 March – Collins Quarter, Collins St Melbourne 5.30pm until midnight
  • Sunday 18 March – Danny’s Coin Laundry, High Street Thornbury from 7pm until 8.30pm, Tahini Restaurant, High Street Northcote from 8pm until 9.30pm, Melbourne Airport Tullamarine International Departures 7.30pm until 1.30am (Monday 19 March)
  • Monday 19 March – La Trobe University, Bundoora campus from 12pm until 2pm, Amcal Pharmacy Echuca, from 1.30pm until 2.30pm, Woolworths Westfield Plenty Valley (3pm), Collins Quarter, Collins St Melbourne 3pm until 7pm
  • Tuesday 20 March – Highpoint Shopping Centre 4.10pm to 5.30pm, Woolworths Lakeside Square Pakenham 3pm to 4pm, Chemist Warehouse, Plenty Road Bundoora, from 4pm until 5pm, Pharmasafe Chemist Plenty Road Watsonia, from 4pm until 5pm
  • Wednesday 21 March – Echuca College ‘Discovery night’ from 6pm to 7.30pm, IGA Watsonia, Watsonia Road, from 2pm until 3pm, ALDI Northland afternoon
  • Thursday 22 March – Woolworths Echuca from 1pm to 2.30pm
  • Saturday 24 March – Waterside Bar, Flinders St Melbourne 10pm to 12am

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