A measles warning has hit Victoria after three people – incuding a baby – contracted the potentially deadly disease.

The warning comes from the state’s Deputy Chief Health Officer, Dr Brett Sutton, who has also issued a list of locations where people have fallen ill with measles. If you live in Melbourne or Ballarat, then you will want to steer clear of these spots.

It’s every parent’s worst nightmare. And one that a Victorian family is currently facing after their baby boy was recently diagnosed with a case of measles.

Baby the third measles victim

The infant is the third confirmed case of measles in Victoria in September 2017, sparking health warnings for those who may have been exposed to the highly infectious illness. In addition to the little boy, a man and a woman have also been hospitalised with confirmed cases of measles.

It is suggested the man may have contracted the disease overseas as he was visiting Romania prior to becoming ill. The man returned to Australia on September 12 and became unwell on September 13, so authorities believe he was most likely infectious on the flights home. He took Qatar Airways flight QR222 from Bucharest to Doha, Qatar, before flying to Melbourne on flight QR904.

Ballarat and Melbourne residents on measles alert

“The source of the infection is unknown at this point. This means there may already be secondary cases in the community which have not been diagnosed,” Dr Sutton says.

However, some of the potential places where the victims may have contacted the illness include shopping outlets such as IKEA and Kmart as well as educational facilities such as Federation University and St Kilda Library. Additional potential infectious areas include train stations and Melbourne airport.

Specific exposure sites include: 

Between 20 August — 1 September, 2017:

  • Metro trains (Frankston line) between Armadale and Southern Cross
  • Southern Cross Station and Armadale Station
  • St Kilda Library (specifically August 25 and August 30)
  • Collins Street, Docklands

Two measles patients spent time while infectious at the following locations:

  •  Ikea Richmond (6 September 11am — 1pm)
  • Spotlight Carnegie ( 7 September 11.30am — 12.30pm)
  • Chadstone Shopping Centre — specifically Kmart (7 September 12pm — 3.30pm)
  • Federation University, Ballarat, Mt Helen Campus (8 September)
  • Chadstone Shopping Centre (9 September 10am — 1pm)
  • Frankston Train line (peak hour travel time) — Armadale Station and Southern Cross Station, Collins St, Docklands (11 and 12 September)
  • Qatar Airways flight QR222 and QR904 (12 September)
  • Ikea Richmond (13 September 11am — 1.30pm)

“Anyone who visited those areas at the relevant times should watch out for a rapidly developing rash,” Dr Sutton says. He also urges anyone with symptoms to warn their GP before they visit.

Measles is highly infectious and airborne and can stay in the environment for up to two hours.  Just being in the same room as someone with measles can result in infection.

It has an incubation period of between seven and 18 days which means “new cases may not show symptoms of the highly infectious illness until October 4,” Dr Sutton warns.

The department says anyone who had not been vaccinated is at risk of contracting measles.

What to watch for:

Symptoms of measles

First symptoms include fever, tiredness, cough, runny nose, sore red eyes and feeling unwell. A few days later a rash appears. The rash starts on the face, spreads down to the body and lasts for 4-7 days. The rash is not itchy.

People with measles are usually infectious from just before the symptoms begin until four days after the rash appears. The time from exposure to becoming sick is usually about 10 days. The rash usually appears around 14 days after exposure.

What are the risks? 

  • Up to a third of people with measles have complications. These include ear infections, diarrhoea and pneumonia, and may require hospitalisation.
  • About one in every 1000 people with measles develops encephalitis (swelling of the brain).

For more information on the measles outbreak in Victoria, please see our previous article on measles outbreaks as well as current health warnings. 

Measles is not the only illness plaguing Victoria. A grieving father is urging parents to be vigilant for signs of the flu after the influenza death of his eight-year-old daughter.

Author

Born and raised in Canada, Jenna now lives in Far North Queensland with her tribe, including her son, daughter, cat, dog and partner. When she's not writing, you can find her lounging by the pool, watching princess movies, frolicking on the beach or nagging her kids to put on their pants.

10 Comments

  1. That photo is Photoshopped. It’s found by googling for Doctor holding beautiful newborn baby. That photo doesn’t have the fake measles spots on it.

    You should be ashamed of yourself for promoting propaganda.

    • Wow, you’re a legend .. does it change the context of the article in any way ? No. You should be ashamed of yourself for focusing in the irrelevant and discounting the relevant, but then you anti vaxers are very good at that are’nt you ?

  2. How could you promote lies and fear like this? Measles spreads because you have forced everyone to be injected with LIVE MEASLES. Australia will keep seeing epidemics because they are perpetuating them with vaccines.

    Measles is mild if treated properly. Don’t inject poison and hope for health.

  3. Ha ha couldnt take the heat huh. Changed your pic once you got found out.

  4. Oh soooo terrifying. We all got measles as children in the 50’s and 60’s. No big deal. A few days in bed just like a bad cold. We got time off school. The neighbours kids would come visit after school. My children all had them in the 70s and 80s again, no big deal. Nor for every person Ive ever known, yet I know many damaged from your horrid chemical concoctions in vaccines. Lol. I’m guessing those measle statistics are world wide which is counting 3rd world living. Its not like here with sanitation and better health. How about telling us about the hundreds of thousands who die every year because of meds? You are losing and you know it. Which is why the big hype to try to scare families who are unsure. More and more of them are listening because they have eyes to see the damage being done to the children. Older people also who are dying or getting seriously ill from the flu shot. Its amazing how many are starting to share how sick it has made them. All your push will do is just show it all up sooner, so carry on.

  5. I had measles and mumps and rubella……NO BIG THING!! You rest, watch tv, and go back to school in 5 days!

  6. The girl with flu died from a heart attack, not flu. It is possible that those with a weak heart are in more danger when they get the flu, but death from heart attack is not a symptom of flu. please post truth not propaganda.

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