Measles warning for moviegoers

School holiday cinemagoers and staff were potentially exposed to the communicable disease after a patron, a WA resident, was confirmed to be infected with measles following a holiday in Indonesia.

A Health Department spokesman said the infected person was in the foyer and walking around the complex, so people going into different sections of the cinema could have had contact.

‘The Department was informed on Monday, January 13 when tests results were available,’ he said. ‘It takes many days for the disease to manifest itself and to get a true diagnosis.’

A Health Department warning issued last Thursday said measles was highly contagious among people who were not fully immunised and its complications could range from an ear infection and diarrhoea to pneumonia or swelling of the brain.

The department’s acting director of communicable disease control Paul Effler said susceptible people who may have been exposed at the Garden City cinema could expect symptoms to appear until about January 26.

Dr Effler said people aged up to 48 years who had not received two doses of measles vaccine were particularly susceptible. Those born before 1966 were usually immune because they had measles during childhood.

‘The local public health units are contacting people identified to have had contact with the infected person and considered most at risk,’ Dr Effler said.

‘Other people may have been exposed to the virus elsewhere in Perth, such as the Garden City Complex in Booragoon, and should also be alert for symptoms.

‘Anyone who develops measles symptoms should seek medical attention, but it is important that they phone ahead first to ensure they don’t share the waiting area with other patients.’

Measle Facts
– Measles is spread through coughing and sneezing
– Symptoms could include fever, tiredness, runny
nose, cough and sore red eyes, which usually last for
several days before a red, blotchy rash appears.
– Complications can range from an ear infection and
diarrhoea to pneumonia or swelling of the brain.