Measles scare in Melbourne

By | May 16, 2019

Victorian health authorities have issued another measles alert after a fresh case cropped up again this week.

An overseas traveller from Vietnam is believed to have visited earlier this month.

He had allegedly been recovering in hospital in Vietnam, and health authorities believe he may have still been infectious when during his Melbourne visit.

“There is a lot of measles circulating in our region currently, including much of South East and Southern Asia. All travellers need to be aware of this risk,” acting chief health officer Angie Bone said in a statement.

“Anyone who is unvaccinated is at highest risk of contracting measles. People need to have received two doses of measles-containing vaccine to be fully protected.”

Ms Bone confirmed last night that the man — in his 30s — visited pubs and hotels at Coburg, Mornington and St Kilda as well as a Williamstown pharmacy between May 2 and 7.

The man also flew Vietnam Airlines. He arrived on flight VN781 at Melbourne Airport on Thursday and flew out May 7 on flight VN780.

He is now being treated in a Vietnamese hospital.

Health authorities say the case is unrelated to four other cases confirmed in Victorian residents earlier this month.

14 confirmed cases of measles have been detected in Victoria so far this year.

Just last month, Health Minister Greg Hunt urged all Australians to check their measles immunisation history and get a top up vaccine if needed.

“In particular, any individual planning to go overseas and those born between 1966 and 1994 are at higher risk and should be take action to protect themselves and their community,” Mr Hunt said.

You can check your immunisation history with your GP, through the Australian Immunisation Register, or via a blood test.

If you develop symptoms — which include sore eyes, fever and a cough, followed by a blotchy red rash a few days later — doctors advise you call ahead to your GP to avoid waiting rooms (and infecting other patients).

A summary of all exposure sites in Victoria is available here.

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