Queensland Health is warning travelers on Jetstar Airlines flight JQ46 to be alert for symptoms of measles.
The flight departed Denpasar for Brisbane on Wednesday night (15 October) and arrived Thursday morning (16 October).
The warning comes as 3 passengers who traveled on this flight were confirmed to have been infectious with measles.
Queensland Health Acting Senior Director of Communicable Diseases Dr Alun Richards said measles was highly contagious among people who were not fully iimmunized
“Measles is spread through coughing and sneezing, and symptoms can include fever, tiredness, runny nose, cough and sore red eyes which usually last for several days before a red, blotchy rash appears,” Dr Richards said.
“People usually feel quite ill and are miserable. Complications can include an ear infection and diarrhea to more serious and potentially life threatening conditions pneumonia or swelling of the brain.”
Dr Richards said that people born during or after 1966 who have not received two doses of measles vaccine are particularly susceptible to measles. People born before 1966 are usually immune because they are likely to have been exposed to measles during childhood.
“So far this year, 59 Queenslanders have suffered measles having caught it overseas or from someone else who caught it overseas.” Dr Richards said.
Susceptible passengers who may have been exposed to measles on this flight could expect symptoms to appear any time between 23 October and 3 November.
Local public health units will be contacting passengers who were seated closest to the infected passengers. Other passengers seated elsewhere on the plane may have been exposed to measles and should also be alert for symptoms.
“Passengers who develop these symptoms should phone ahead when seeking medical attention to ensure they don’t share the waiting area with other patients,” Dr Richards said.
Dr Richards said that children should receive 2 doses of measles vaccine at 12 months and 4 years of age.
“People planning travel should also check with their GP and have a measles vaccine if they don’t have written evidence of having received the 2 doses during their lifetime,” Dr Richards said.
If you were a passenger on this flight and are concerned you may be at risk of measles phone your local Public Health Unit, 13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84) or your GP.