Measles alert issued for CBD locations

By Medha Vernekar 

The Health and Human Services Department has issued alerts after several suspected contractions at CBD locations. 

These locations include Flinders Backpackers, Elizabeth St, Flinders Railway Station and Bourke St.

Several exposed to the virus also visited rural sites such as Philip Island and areas between Geelong and Warrnambool.

Deputy chief health officer, Dr Brett Sutton, spoke about a woman who is infected with the virus after visiting the CBD.

“An infected woman, in her 20s, visited a number of tourist locations and popular sites across Melbourne,” Dr Sutton said.  “She is now being treated in hospital.”

Measles is a highly infectious viral disease which is known to cause serious illnesses particularly in young children and adults. Some of the complications that can develop with this virus include pneumonia and other serious conditions that require hospitalisation.

Measles has an incubation period of up to 18 days so those at a risk of contracting the virus and those that have visited the CBD locations might not show symptoms until March 21.

Dr Sutton urges people who show symptoms of the virus over the next two weeks to immediately contact their doctors or hospital emergency departments.

“Anyone developing symptoms is advised to ring ahead to their general practitioner or hospital first and tell them that they may have measles so that appropriate steps can be taken to avoid contact with other patients,” Dr Sutton added.

Some of the early symptoms of measles include common cold symptoms such as runny nose, red eyes and coughing, followed by the characteristic measles rash and fever.

Although the disease is now less prevalent in Australia due to the widespread vaccination it is still vital that children remain immunised due to the risk of infection brought in by travellers.

The vaccine for measles is currently recommended on the Natural Immunisation Program for toddlers at 12 months and again at 18 months. Anyone not immunised against measles, has the risk of contracting the virus.

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