Perth: Measles alert for Raine Square, airport travellers

People are again being warned about a measles outbreak in Perth. Picture: iStock.
People are again being warned about a measles outbreak in Perth. Picture: iStock.

PEOPLE who travelled to Perth from Singapore last Tuesday morning or visited Raine Square in the city the following day need to be on the lookout for symptoms of measles after another confirmed diagnosis of the illness.

A passenger who took the Singapore Airlines flight on Tuesday, January 29, having connected from a flight from the Philippines the previous day, is the latest confirmed case in Perth.

They shopped at Coles in Raine Square late morning on Wednesday, January 30.

Advice from the WA Department of Health advice suggests only people who visited either location within 30 minutes of the affected person being there could be at risk and that there was no risk of acquiring measles from visiting Perth International Airport or Raine Square outside of these times.

Children and adults who have been inadvertently exposed are at risk of developing measles if they are not already immune.

People who visited the airport or Raine Square in that period should remain vigilant for the onset of measles symptoms until the end of February.

“Measles is a serious and highly contagious viral illness spread by tiny droplets released when infected people cough and sneeze,” the department’s senior medical advisor in communicable diseases, Donna Mak, said.

“A person with measles is infectious from four days before, until four days after, the rash appears.

“Every 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, those with compromised immune systems and pregnant women who are not already immune through vaccination or previous infection.

“People with measles typically develop symptoms approximately 10 days after being exposed to the virus, but this can vary from 7 to 21 days.

“Early symptoms include fever, cough, runny nose and sore eyes, followed by a red blotchy rash three or four days later.

“The rash usually starts on the face and spreads to the rest of the body.

“Anyone who has had a potential exposure to measles, and who develops a fever with these other symptoms should see a doctor. It is important to call ahead of travelling to a clinic or Emergency Department so that they can be isolated from infecting other patients and staff when they arrive.”

People who are concerned they may have measles can contact HealthDirect on 1800 022 222.