Measles warning as man tests positive after flying to Australia
ACT Health advise that the passenger became unwell prior to leaving Pakistan, so others on the flight or at the airport at the same time may have been exposed to the infection.
The passenger was infectious on flight QR906 from Doha to Sydney departing Doha on Saturday 2 February and arriving at Sydney International Airport at 6:25 am on Sunday 3 February.
The passenger was then in the international transit lounge until approximately 9am before taking flight QR906 to Canberra.
Passengers on this flight and people in Sydney International Airport transit lounge at the same time are advised to watch for signs and symptoms of measles until 21 February.
The time from exposure to the onset of symptoms is from a week to 18 days. These sites do not pose any ongoing risk to the public.
“If you develop symptoms please call ahead to your GP so you do not wait in the waiting room with other patients,” Director Communicable Diseases Branch Director, Dr Vicky Sheppeard, said.
“The measles-mumps-rubella vaccine is safe and effective protection against measles. It is free for anyone in NSW born during or after 1966 who hasn’t already had two doses. If you’re unsure whether you’ve had two doses, it’s quite safe to have another.”
Outbreaks of measles in popular tourist destinations means the risk for measles being imported into Australia at the moment is high.
NSW Health urges people travelling to South and South East Asia, where measles is prevalent, to ensure they are fully vaccinated before heading overseas.
Measles is highly contagious and is spread in the air through coughing or sneezing by someone who is unwell with the disease.
Symptoms include fever, sore eyes and a cough followed three or four days later by a red, blotchy rash spreading from the head and neck to the rest of the body. ■