WEST Australians are asked to be alert to an increased risk of measles, following notification of four additional cases in the past week.
There have now been nine measles cases confirmed in Perth residents since mid-March, including four adults, four infants too young for vaccination, and one teenager.
WA Health medical epidemiologist Gary Dowse said seven of the nine cases were infected while travelling overseas, including two infants exposed to an infectious case on international flights from India and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
The imported cases have been infected in Bali, Thailand, India and Malaysia.
In addition, two cases have been infected in WA: one in a hospital emergency department attended by one of the imported cases, and the other probably somewhere in the Kalamunda area.
The case from the Kalamunda area has no travel history and no identifiable source of infection, which suggests an undiagnosed case in the area, meaning there could be a risk of others being infected.
“With high vaccination coverage, naturally occurring measles has been eliminated from WA for around 20 years but occasional cases and small outbreaks still occur – associated with tourists or WA residents who are infected overseas,” Dr Dowse said.
“Every imported measles case is treated as a public health emergency because of the risk of local spread, including to those most vulnerable to infection such as infants too young to be vaccinated, pregnant women and those with compromised immune systems.”
Dr Dowse said public health staff had been providing information to people who were potentially exposed to the most recent cases where they were known, but it was not possible to identify and specifically warn people who were in public places.
People could have been exposed to the most recent cases at the following locations in Perth, with dates/times as indicated:
– The arrivals area of Perth International Airport on the afternoon of Friday, March 30
– St John Medical (Apollo Health) in Cannington during the early afternoon of Saturday, March 31
– Joondalup line train from Clarkson to Leederville and return (morning and afternoon) on Tuesday, April 3
– Quinns Mindarie Super Clinic in Quinns Rocks around midday on April 6
– Princess Margaret Hospital Emergency Department on the mornings of Thursday, April 7 and Thursday, April 12
– St Luke Medical Centre in Karrinyup during late mornings of Tuesday, April 10 and Wednesday, April 11
– Joondalup Hospital Emergency Department on Monday 9 April (mid-afternoon) and Friday 13 April (mid-morning to late afternoon)
– Craigie Medical Centre in Craigie on Wednesday, April 11 in the early evening
– Mead Medical in Forrestfield mid-morning on Saturday, April 14
– Hale Road Medical in Forrestfield around midday on Sunday, April 15
– Princess Margaret Hospital Emergency Department during the early afternoon of Sunday, April 15.
In addition, travellers could have been exposed on the following Malindo Air flights:
– Flight OD 272, departing Amritsar, India on 29 March at 10.30pm, arriving in Kuala Lumpur on 30 March about 7am
– Flight OD 151, departing Kuala Lumpur on 30 March about 8.25am, arriving in Perth on 30 March about 2.10pm
Anyone who thinks they might have measles should call ahead so that they can be isolated immediately on arrival at the GP surgery or Emergency Department, to prevent infecting other patients and staff.