Airline passengers on measles alert
Airline passengers on measles alert

Health authorities have issued a measles alert for passengers on a flight from Singapore to Perth last Saturday, amid a surge in cases of the disease.

The WA Health Department said late today that people on Singapore Airlines flight SQ225 may have been exposed to measles, after confirming a passenger on the plane was infectious with the disease.

The passenger also travelled on Singapore Airlines flight SQ5066 from Davao in the Philippines to Singapore earlier the same day.

Dr Paul Effler from the Communicable Disease Control Directorate said measles was highly infectious and spread through coughing and sneezing.

Symptoms included fever, tiredness, runny nose, cough and sore red eyes which usually lasted for several days before a red, blotchy rash appeared.

Complications could include pneumonia or swelling of the brain.

Susceptible passengers who may have been exposed to measles on the flight could expect symptoms to appear any time between Saturday and August 12.

“Passengers who develop these symptoms should seek medical attention, but it is important that they phone ahead first to ensure they don’t share the waiting area with other patients and risk infecting them,” Dr Effler said.

“The local public health units are attempting to contact passengers who were seated closest to the infected traveller and are most at risk, however, other passengers seated elsewhere on the plane may have been exposed to the virus and should also be alert for symptoms.”

WA is experiencing a surge in measles, with 33 cases so far this year which is more than WA has seen in any entire year for the past decade.

Nine of the patients this year have been hospitalised and half were adults aged between 20 and 49.

The West Australian

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