Measles case in a South Australian adolescent

28 December 2018

SA Health has been notified of a case of measles acquired in South East Asia in a 15 year old female South Australian resident. The case was in the settings listed below whilst infectious. People in these settings at the specified times may have been exposed:

  • Dan Murphys, Cnr The Grove Way and The Golden Way, Golden Grove from 9:45 am to 11:00 am on Fri 21st December.
  • The Grove Shopping Centre, LOT 1037 The Golden Way, Golden Grove from 10:00 am to 11:00 am on Fri 21st December.
  • Westfield Tea Tree Plaza, 976 North East Road, Modbury from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm on Fri 21st December.
  • Bunnings Warehouse, 933-945 North East Road, Modbury from 1:15 pm to 2:15 pm on Fri 21st December.
  • Clovercrest Village, Cnr Montague Road and Kelly Rd, Modbury from 1:30 pm to 2:30 pm on Fri 21st December.

Measles is transmitted via respiratory aerosols that remain a risk to others for up to 30 minutes after the person has left the area. The incubation period is about 10 days (range 7 to 18 days) to the onset of prodromal symptoms and about 14 days to rash appearance.

The illness is characterised by cough, coryza, conjunctivitis, a descending morbilliform rash, and fever present at the time of rash onset. The infectious period is from 24 hours prior to onset of the prodrome until 4 days after the onset of the rash.

Doctors with patients suspected of having measles are asked to:

  • Notify urgently any patient with suspected measles to the CDCB on 1300 232 272 (24 hours/7 days). Do not wait for laboratory confirmation.
  • Arrange urgent laboratory testing through SA Pathology. Take throat swabs in viral transport medium for measles PCR (preferred specimen) and urine for measles PCR (yellow top container).
  • Isolate suspected and confirmed measles cases and exclude from child-care/ school/ workplace for 4 days after rash appearance.
  • Ensure all household and other contacts are protected against measles as indicated in the Australian Immunisation Handbook.
  • Minimise transmission of measles:
    • Examine patients suspected of having measles in their own homes wherever possible.
    • Ensure the patient is only seen by practice staff who have confirmed immunity to measles.
    • Ensure suspected cases do not use the waiting room, and conduct the consultation in a room that can be left vacant for at least 30 minutes afterwards.
    • Treat all people who attend the rooms at the same time as and up to 30 minutes after the infectious patient has left the rooms as contacts.

Measles vaccination

  • Two doses of a measles containing vaccine are highly effective at preventing measles. Offer measles vaccine (unless contraindicated, for example in pregnant women or immunosuppression) to all potentially susceptible persons who attend your practice.
  • Measles vaccine should be considered in susceptible persons prior to overseas travel.
  • Many people born in the late 1960s to mid-1980s may have only received one measles vaccine.

Further clinical information is available at

For all enquires please contact the CDCB on 1300 232 272 (24 hours/7 days)

Dr Ann Koehler – Acting Director, Communicable Disease Control Branch

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