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Measles alert for Melbourne


Paul Hayes


15/01/2019 10:49:02 AM

Vic’s Department of Health and Human Services issued an alert after a man who visited Box Hill Hospital last week was diagnosed with measles.

Victoria’s Acting Chief Health Officer Dr Brett Sutton said anyone who had been at the hospital during the relevant times should be on the look out for potential symptoms. (Image: Alex Murray)
Victoria’s Acting Chief Health Officer Dr Brett Sutton said anyone who had been at the hospital during the relevant times should be on the look out for potential symptoms. (Image: Alex Murray)

According to the Department of Health and Human Services, the man, aged in his 20s, may have been infectious while at Box Hill Hospital between Thursday–Sunday 10–13 January.
 
In particular, during the following periods: 

  • Thursday 10 January: Box Hill Hospital (8.00 am to 9.30 pm), including lunch in the onsite café, Zouki Cafeteria
  • Friday 11 January: Box Hill Hospital (8.00 am to 6.30 pm), including lunch in Zouki Cafeteria
  • Saturday 12 January: Box Hill Hospital (8.00 am to 9.30 pm), including lunch in Zouki Cafeteria
  • Sunday 13 January: Box Hill Hospital (8.00 am to 10.00 am)
Victoria’s acting chief health officer Dr Brett Sutton said anyone who had been at the hospital during the relevant times should be aware of symptoms, including a runny nose, red eyes and cough, followed by a fever and rash.
 
‘Anyone developing symptoms is advised to ring ahead to their general practitioner or hospital first and tell them that they may have measles so that appropriate steps can be taken to avoid contact with other patients,’ Dr Sutton said.
 
Summary of Department of Health and Human Services recommendations
  • Be alert for new measles cases – ensure all staff members, especially triage nurses, have a high index of suspicion for patients presenting with a febrile rash.
  • Notify suspected cases immediately to the Communicable Disease Prevention and Control Section via telephone on 1300 651 160 (24 hours).
  • Take blood for serological confirmation.
  • Call the Department to discuss the need for nose and throat swabs for polymerase chain reaction (PCR) diagnosis. PCR testing for measles does not attract a Medicare rebate.
  • To minimise the risk of measles transmission within your department/practice
    • avoid keeping patients with a febrile rash illness in shared waiting areas
    • give the suspected case a single-use mask and isolate them, until a measles diagnosis can be excluded
    • leave vacant all consultation rooms used in the assessment of patients with suspected measles for at least 30 minutes after the consultation.
  • Identify patients who are susceptible to measles, especially those planning travel overseas, and offer free measles-mumps-rubella vaccine.
The Victorian health alert comes following recent notification of several measles cases in NSW.
 
Cases include:
  • a Sydney man who developed measles while in the Philippines and was on Qantas flight QF20 from Manila to Sydney and Leichardt Medical and Dental Centre 11–12 January
  • a Sydney man who was in Darling Harbour, Town Hall, Newtown and Marrickville 4–10 January
  • a Queensland teenager who visited NSW and was in Riverside Precinct Woodburn, John Hunter Hospital 5–6 January 
  • a child visiting Sydney from overseas who was in Chatswood, Pokolbin and Royal North Shore Hospital 27–31 December 2018
  • an ACT resident who was in Thornleigh, Umina Beach and Woy Woy 26–30 December 2018.
NSW Health has advised that people who spent time in any of these same locations at the same time may be at risk of developing measles.



Department of Health and Human Services health alert measles Melbourne Victoria


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