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Second state put on measles alert

ECONOMIC GENERICS
Travellers who visited Sydney airport have been warned to keep watch for symptoms. Picture: NCA NewsWire/ David Crosling

A second state has been warned about the potential community transmission of measles after a returned traveller was infectious while in Melbourne.

Victoria’s chief health officer Clare Looker issued a measles alert on Wednesday after a returning traveller tested positive to measles and was infectious while at two businesses.

Two public exposure sites have been listed across Melbourne, including Bay City Auto Group and the associated construction site in Frankston, and the Box Hill Action Indoor Sports centre in Box Hill.

People who visited the sites between January 17 to January 19 have been advised to monitor for symptoms for 18 days after the potential exposure.

AUSTRALIAN OPEN
Two exposure sites have been identified in the Melbourne suburbs of Box Hill and Frankston. Picture: NCA NewsWire/ Ian Currie

In Sydney and Canberra, alerts have been issued for people who may have come in contact with the virus while at Sydney International Airport.

Passengers aboard Air India flight AI 302 from Delhi to Sydney on January 20 that landed at 8.10am or who were in the international arrivals area of Sydney airport after that time are urged to monitor for symptoms.

NSW Health say the person then travelled from Sydney to Canberra about 10.30am aboard a Murrays Bus before visiting the Canberra Hospital emergency department between 4pm on January 21 and 1.10pm on January 22.

NSW Health communicable diseases branch director Christine Selvey said the alert was a reminder for people to ensure their vaccinations were up to date.

“Anyone born during or after 1966 needs to ensure they have received two doses of measles vaccine. This is particularly important prior to overseas travel, as measles outbreaks are occurring in several regions of the world at the moment,” Dr Selvey said.

Smoke over Sydney
Sydney International Airport has been identified as an exposure site. Picture: NCA NewsWire/ Simon Bullard.

Anyone born on or after 1966 and hasn’t had two doses of the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine is able to access the shot for free in NSW and Victoria.

The highly contagious disease can cause severe complications like encephalitis, pneumonia, ear infections and severe diarrhoea. Initial symptoms include fatigue, fever, and sore red eyes. About day 14 after exposure, patients develop a non-itchy rash that begins on their face and spreads down their body.

Symptoms often begin within 10 days after exposure to the virus but can appear as soon as seven or until 18 days after infection.

The telltale measles rash on a child. Picture: NSW Health
The telltale measles rash on a child. Picture: NSW Health

Public exposure sites across Melbourne:

Bay City Auto Group (and associated construction site) – 140 Dandenong Rd West, Frankston, VIC 3199 – January 17 (6am to 3pm), January 18 (6am to 3pm), January 19 (6am to 3pm)

Box Hill Action Indoor Sports – 9 Clarice Road, Box Hill, VIC 3128 – January 17 (7.30pm to 9.30pm)

Public exposure sites across Sydney:

Air India flight AI 302 from Delhi to Sydney – arriving in Sydney on January 20 at 8.10am

Sydney airport (Terminal 1 international arrivals, including baggage claim and customs) and bay 9 bus and coach bays – morning of Saturday, January 20

Murrays Bus Sydney to Canberra express – departed Sydney International Airport about 10.30am, January 20. Individuals who travelled on this bus service will be contacted by ATC Health