In a follow-up report on the measles situation in Victoria, Australia, two additional cases have been confirmed concerning health officials that there were now multiple undetected cases in the community potentially spreading the infection.
Victoria’s acting Chief Health Officer, Dr Finn Romanes said there was no direct connection between the three cases, but investigations suggested there was now a potential spread of infection in Geelong, the Surf Coast, the western and north-west suburbs of Melbourne, and the inner city.
He said the three cases were all aged from 18 up to 30 years, all became infected in early to mid June and none had recently travelled overseas – the usual route by which measles is introduced to Australia.
“Because of this, our concern is that there was a person or persons who probably had travelled overseas, and have since unknowingly passed on measles to these three people in the western suburbs and Barwon area – and there may be more,” Dr Romanes said.
“There is now the potential for these three people and anyone else was has been infected to pass on the disease and create a significant outbreak.
“Anyone unwell with a fever and rash who is not fully vaccinated for measles should ring ahead to their doctor or hospital and alert them that they may have measles.
“The doctor or hospital will then be able to immediately isolate them whilst assessing for measles, which will minimize spread to others.”
Latest figures show that 94% per cent of Victorian children aged up to 5 years are fully immunized against measles – but Dr Romanes urged parents of all children to ensure their immunizations are up-to-date.