By NewsDesk @bactiman63
The Victoria Department of Health reported three new measles cases have been identified in Victoria in returned overseas travelers. Two of these related cases were infectious on their return flight from Singapore to Melbourne.
Contact tracing is underway and passengers on this flight are being contacted.
There have now been 5 cases of measles reported in Victoria since 1 January 2022.
Anyone who presents with signs and symptoms compatible with measles should be tested and notified to the department. There should be an especially high level of suspicion if they have travelled overseas or visited any of the areas listed above and are unvaccinated or partially vaccinated for measles.
Who is at risk?
Any person born during or since 1966 and who does not have documented evidence of receiving two doses of a measles-containing vaccine or does not have documented evidence of immunity is at risk.
Unvaccinated infants are at particularly high risk of contracting measles. Infants as young as six months of age can receive MMR vaccine prior to travel overseas to countries where measles is endemic, or where measles outbreaks are occurring. The first dose of MMR vaccine is usually given at 12 months of age as part of the. If an infant receives an early dose of MMR vaccine (e.g. at 8 months) prior to travelling overseas, they are still required to receive their routine 12 month and 18 months doses in line with the NIP schedule. MMR vaccine is free for infants aged 6 to 12 months travelling to measles affected areas.
Clinical features of measles include prodromal fever, a severe cough, conjunctivitis and coryza, followed by a maculopapular rash usually starting on the face. It is important to be mindful that initial symptoms of measles may be similar to those of COVID-19 and influenza. If a symptomatic patient has a negative COVID-19 and/ or influenza test, they should continue to isolate and be tested for measles if they develop a rash.
People with measles are potentially infectious from around five days before, to four days after, the appearance of the rash.
Measles is highly infectious and can persist in the environment for up to two hours.
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