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Measles case in Adelaide

SA Health has been notified of a case of measles in a 20 year old male South Australian resident who has not travelled during the incubation period for measles. There were two cases of measles notified in SA in 2018, and this is the second case for 2019. The case was in the settings listed below whilst infectious. People in these settings at the specified times may have been exposed:

  • Western Clinic Medical Centre at 152/154 Henley Beach Road, Torrensville, 5031 on 1 February 2019 between 11:15 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.
  • Australian Clinical Laboratory collection centre at the above Clinic on 2 February 2019 between 8.45 a.m. and 9.30 a.m.

There have been multiple notifications of measles in Australia in the last few months, mostly overseas-acquired, but with some secondary cases. Measles vaccine should be considered as a travel vaccine in susceptible persons prior to overseas travel.

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.
  • While most people born in Australia before 1966 will have had measles in childhood, those born in the late 1960s to mid-1980s may have only received one measles vaccine.

Further clinical information is available: Infectious disease control

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

Dr Louise Flood – Director, Communicable Disease Control Branch

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