Three more measles cases in Perth

Stock image.
Stock image.

THREE additional cases of measles have been reported overnight, taking the number of people affected in Perth up to eight.

Five cases were reported in the Rockingham area over the weekend, confirmed by the WA Department of Health yesterday.

The WA Department of Health also confirmed three additional cases of measles were reported overnight.

The Department asked Western Australians who reside in or have visited the Perth metropolitan area, especially the southern suburbs, are being asked to be alert as the eight confirmed measles cases are people who predominantly live in the Rockingham area.

Public health authorities are in the process of providing information to people who were potentially exposed to offer treatment and immunisations if appropriate.

But they say it’s not possible to identify people who may have been exposed in public places.

Acting Director of the Communicable Disease Control Directorate, Paul Effler, said measles was a serious and highly contagious virus spread by tiny droplets released when infected people cough and sneeze.

“Every measles case is treated as a public health emergency because of the risk of local spread,” Dr Effler said on Tuesday.

“With high vaccination coverage, naturally occurring measles has been eliminated from WA for around 20 years, but occasional cases and small outbreaks still occur, usually associated with tourists or WA residents who are infected overseas.”

People with measles typically develop symptoms about 10 days after being exposed.

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

Dr Effler said anyone who believed they may have been exposed and who develops a fever and other symptoms should see a doctor.