Measles case in South Australia
24 March 2023
SA Health has been notified of a case of measles in a 3 year old male from regional South Australia who acquired the infection overseas. There have been four cases of measles notified in Australia in 2023. This is the first case reported in South Australia since 2019. While infectious, the case was in the following settings at the specified times where people may have been exposed:
- Murray Bridge Swimming Centre, 58 Adelaide Rd Murray Bridge SA 5253 on Friday 17 March 2023 between 4:00 pm and 6:00 pm.
- Murray Bridge Hospital Emergency Department waiting area, on Wednesday 22 March 2023 between 9:30 am and 1:00 pm, and Thursday 23 March 2023 between 9:00 am and 9:45 am.
- Bridge Clinic, 8 Standen St Murray Bridge SA 5253, on Thursday 23 March 2023 between 9:30am and 11:15 am.
- Women’s and Children’s Hospital Emergency Department waiting area, on Thursday 23 March 2023 between 12:00 pm and 12:45 pm.
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 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 or workplace for 4 days after rash appearance.
- Transfer/refer to hospital if clinically indicated. Advise the hospital of suspected diagnosis.
- Ensure all household and other contacts are protected against measles as indicated in the Australian Immunisation Handbook. https://bit.ly/3JJOUv7
- 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.
- Manage as contacts all people who attend the rooms at the same time as the infectious patient and up to 30 minutes after the patient has left.
- Two doses of a measles containing vaccine are highly effective at preventing measles. Encourage vaccination prior to overseas travel in susceptible persons. Offer measles vaccine (unless contraindicated) 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 resources for measles available at www.sahealth.sa.gov.au/InfectiousDiseaseControl.
For all enquires please contact the CDCB on 1300 232 272 (24 hours/7 days).
Dr Louise Flood – Director, Disease Prevention and Control, CDCB