Measles case in Adelaide

4 July 2019

SA Health has been notified of a case of measles (acquired in Vietnam) in a 21-year-old woman from Queensland who spent some of her infectious period in South Australia. The woman was at the following locations in Adelaide while infectious, and people in the vicinity may have been exposed:

  • Quest King William South, 379 King William Street, Monday 24 June to Friday morning 28 June
  • Adelaide Market Arcade on Monday 24 June, 11:00am to 2:00pm and Thursday 27 June, 12:30pm to 2:30pm
  • Adelaide Zoo, Monday 24 June, 2:00pm to 5:30pm
  • Coles, Adelaide Market Arcade, Monday 24 June, 5:00pm to 6:00pm
  • Adelaide Festival Centre, King William Street, Tuesday 25 June, 3:00pm to midnight, Wednesday 26 June, 5:00pm to 9:30pm, and Thursday 27 June, 4:00pm to 10:30pm
  • Adelaide Airport, Friday 28 June 10:00am to 2:45pm
  • Virgin Flight VA1397 from Adelaide to Brisbane on Friday 28 June scheduled for departure at 1:30pm.

There have been 128 measles cases reported in Australia this year. Three cases have been notified in South Australia, with the last measles case notified in South Australia this year on 29 April.

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 online 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 (note measles vaccine is currently in short supply in Australia)

  • 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.
  • Measles vaccination can be given from 6 months of age in infants travelling to countries where measles is endemic or outbreaks are occurring (if given aged <12 months, 2 subsequent doses will be required).

Further clinical information is available at

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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