New measles case

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

South Australians are being reminded to check their vaccination status for measles following the confirmation of one new case today.

SA Health’s Chief Medical Officer Professor Paddy Phillips said a 42 year old man is in a stable condition in hospital after contracting the disease locally, likely in the Gawler area.

“Immunisation provides the best protection against measles so it is vital that everyone ensures they have had two doses of the measles vaccine, not only to protect themselves but to protect others,” Professor Phillips said.

“Measles is highly contagious and can be airborne so it is easily spread through coughing and sneezing amongst people who are not immunised or fully immunised.

“People born in the late 1960s to mid-1980s may believe they are fully immunised but many only received one measles vaccine and therefore they can still be at risk.

“We know a number of cases in South Australia this year are the result of individuals not being fully immunised, so I urge people to visit their GP or local council immunisation clinic to ensure they have had both vaccinations.”

SA Health is urging anyone who is not fully immunised or who was in the locations listed below to be alert for symptoms over the next few weeks and to see a doctor if they become ill.

  • Hy-Drive Engineering, 59 Wingfield Rd Wingfield, from 7:00am until 3:30pm on Monday 17 October 2016, and from 7:00am until 11:30am on Tuesday 18 October 2016.
  • Hyde and Partners Medical Centre, 6 Adelaide Rd Gawler, from 3:30pm until 4:45pm on Tuesday 18 October 2016, and 3:30pm until 4:30pm on Thursday 20 October 2016.
  • Gawler Health Service, 21 Hutchinson Rd Gawler East, from 10:30am until 1:00pm on Saturday 22 October 2016, and 8:00am until 11:00am on Sunday 23 October.

Professor Phillips said it is crucial that anyone who believes they have the symptoms of measles to contact their doctor prior to visiting.

“People should look out for the symptoms that include fever, cough, runny nose, and sore eyes, followed by a blotchy rash which begins on the head and then spreads down the body,” Professor Phillips said.

“If people believe they are showing those symptoms, they should phone their GP ahead of their visit and mention why they are attending so that precautions can be taken to avoid spreading disease to others.

“Children should receive their first measles vaccination at 12 months and the second at 18 months of age.

“It is also important to note that the infectious period begins prior to the symptoms being present and therefore any person infected with measles will not be aware that they are carrying the disease."

Today’s cases take the total number of confirmed cases in South Australia this year to 10, compared to four cases for all of 2015.

For more information, see measles, including symptoms, treatment and prevention.

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