Canberrans are encouraged to check their vaccination status following a confirmed case of measles in the ACT.
Chief Health Officer Dr Kerryn Coleman said the individual had likely acquired the infection on a recent overseas trip.
“ACT Health is currently investigating a case of measles and can confirm, at this time, there have been no further linked cases,” Dr Coleman said.
There is limited risk to the public and ACT Health is identifying and contacting potential contacts of the case who are at higher risk.
The individual travelled from Sydney International Airport to Canberra via a Murrays Express bus around 10:30am on Saturday 20 January 2024.
They also attended the Canberra Hospital Emergency Department between 4pm on Sunday 21 January 2024 and 1.10pm on Monday 22 January 2024.
“As part of our investigations, we are following up identified contacts in line with national guidelines,” Dr Coleman said.
“The people we have contacted are being asked to remain alert for signs and symptoms of measles and to make sure they have been vaccinated or get vaccinated as soon as possible for the best protection.”
People who have been identified as potential contacts will receive a message and are being asked to contact ACT Health if:
- they have a weakened immune system, for example are receiving treatment for cancer or taking a high-dose steroid medication,
- are unvaccinated against measles and pregnant,
- have an unvaccinated child under 18 months.
If symptoms of measles develop, people should seek medical advice, advising their health care provider before they arrive so that appropriate infection control precautions can be put in place to stop the spread of the infection.
Symptoms of measles may include fever, runny nose, sore eyes, cough and rash.
People generally develop symptoms 7-18 days after being exposed, with 10 days being most common.
The virus is spread from an infectious person during coughing or sneezing or through direct contact with secretions from the nose or mouth.
“Measles is a serious disease and is highly contagious among people who are not fully immunised,” Dr Coleman said.
“Whenever a case of measles is identified in our community, it is a strong reminder that the best way to protect yourself and your family against measles is vaccination.
"Two doses of Measles Mumps Rubella vaccine (MMR) are required for immunity against measles and are given to children in Australia at 12 and 18 months of age.
“We encourage everyone to check their vaccination history using the MyGov app. If you’re not sure if you’ve received two doses of the vaccine, there’s no harm in getting a third dose to make sure you have the best protection from measles.”
Anyone born in or after 1966 and who has not previously received two measles containing vaccines should speak to their GP or a pharmacist for advice.
For further information, visit the ACT Health website at: