Victoria's Measles Outbreak Tracked to Singapore
The Victoria Department of Health recently reported the fifth measles patient related to overseas travelers since January 2022.
The three new cases confirmed on November 17, 2022, were within one family. Two of the cases were infectious during a return flight from Singapore to Melbourne, Australia.
There are two public exposure sites in Victoria linked to these measles cases.
The government urges those who attended these sites to seek medical care if they develop symptoms, to wear a mask, and to call ahead to ensure they can be isolated from others.
"Measles is a highly infectious viral disease that spreads quickly with close contact, especially in those who are not fully vaccinated. Young children and adults with weakened immune systems are the most at risk of serious illness," commented Victoria's Deputy Chief Health Officer, Associate Professor Deborah Friedman, in a press release.
On September 13, 2022, Australia's NSW Health confirmed its first local case of measles since February 2020. This person developed symptoms after returning from Sydney.
“Our progress towards measles and rubella elimination in the Western Pacific must not be reversed,” commented Dr. Huong Tran, Director of Programmes for Disease Control in the WHO Western Pacific Region, in September 2022.
Measles is a highly contagious disease, spread by the droplets from when an infected person coughs and sneezes. Symptoms include a red rash and fever. In some people, it can be severe.
Measles is prevented by vaccination, says the Australian government.
The U.S. CDC suggests confirming measles immunity for most people visiting Australia, as well as Japanese encephalitis in parts of eastern and southeastern Australia.