Measles cases in children visiting South Australia

24 August 2018

SA Health has been notified of one overseas acquired case of measles and three subsequent cases in unvaccinated siblings visiting from overseas. The cases were in the settings listed below whilst infectious and people in these locations at the specified times may have been exposed:

  • Marree Hotel, Railway Terrace South, Marree, from Wednesday 1st to Thursday 2 nd August.
  • The Transcontinental Hotel, Oodnadatta Track, Oodnadatta, from Thursday 2nd to Friday 3rd August.
  • Mt Dare Hotel, Witjira, from Sunday 5th to Wednesday 8th August.
  • The Underground Hotel, Lot 1138 Catacomb Road, Coober Pedy, from Wednesday 8th to Thursday 9th August.
  • The Lookout Cave Underground Motel, 1141 McKenzie Close, Coober Pedy, from Thursday 9 th to Friday 10th August.
  • Standpipe Golf Motor Inn, 3/5 Daw Street, Port Augusta, from Friday 10th August to Saturday 11th August.
  • Renmark Hotel, Murray Avenue, Renmark, from Saturday 11th to Sunday 12th August.
  • Renmark Hotel restaurant, Murray Avenue, Renmark, from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm on Saturday 11 th August.

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 on average 10 days (range 7 to 18 days) to the onset of prodromal symptoms and 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 at least 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 the infectious patient, 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. Measles vaccine can be given from 9 months of age.
  • 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)

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