Melburnians are being warned to be on the lookout for a new highly infectious disease understood to have entered the community after an individual returned to the city from India.
Victoria’s Department of Health said a new case of measles had been detected in a 41-year-old man who was infectious on arrival at Melbourne Airport on December 12, making the case the sixth measles infection in Victoria since the beginning of the year.
Of the 13 exhibition sites, one includes the arrivals gate at Melbourne Airport, while six are located in Moonee Ponds, a suburb in Melbourne’s north.
Measles, which was eradicated from much of Australia due to high vaccination rates, is a highly infectious viral disease that spreads rapidly through close contact.
Victoria’s health chief Brett Sutton urged people to seek medical attention if they developed symptoms such as a runny nose, red eyes and cough, followed by a fever and rash.
“People can develop pneumonia and other serious complications from measles, and children in particular may need to be hospitalised,” Professor Sutton said.
He called for people to be tested and isolated if necessary if they developed symptoms after returning from abroad, and said people traveling should get an MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine. if they have not had two MMR vaccines in the past.
The list of exhibition sites includes Melbourne Airport International Arrivals, Woolworths and Aldi at Moonee Ponds, Moonee Ponds Central Shopping Centre, buses and trains on the Craigieburn line.
For a full list of exhibition locations and times, click here.
On Tuesday, Australia’s health chief Paul Kelly urged Australians to ensure they were sufficiently vaccinated against polio and measles, saying immunization rates for those diseases had fallen at hotspots for Australian tourists including Indonesia, India, Vietnam, Thailand and the Philippines.
Measles outbreaks have occurred in Europe, the United Kingdom, and North and South America in recent years.
Originally published as New measles cases detected in Melbourne days before Christmas