News Measles alerts from Melbourne to Brisbane

Measles alerts from Melbourne to Brisbane

Vaccinations protect more than the individual, they promote the "herd immunity" of the entire community. Photo AAP
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Shoppers in Melbourne’s west are the latest to be warned to look out for symptoms of measles after a retail worker contracted the infectious disease during a holiday in Bali.

Acting Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton says a casual employee at Big W in Werribee worked four consecutive days between March 3 and March 6 while infectious, before being diagnosed.

“We are concerned that more people may have been infected through contact with this individual in the community,” Dr Sutton said on Saturday.

The Werribee case is the third linked to Bali in ten days.

A Sydney traveller returned from the holiday island on February 28 aboard a Virgin Airline flight from Denpasar, subsequently visiting a pharmacy, medical centre and hospital emergency department in the suburb of Auburn over the next eight days.

And in Brisbane another returned holidaymaker flew home on March 2 and is known to have transited Sydney and Brisbane airports while infectious, NSW Health said in a statement.

The warnings brings the number of NSW cases of measles to eight this year.
All caught the disease overseas, NSW Health says.

Measles symptoms include 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.

NSW communicable diseases director Dr Vicky Sheppeard stressed the need to be vaccinated in order to create “herd immunity”.

“Measles is highly infectious and is spread through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes,” she said.

– with AAP