TWO people visited Phillip Island while they were infectious with measles, the Department of Health and Human Services announced today (Friday, August 2).

Although there have been three confirmed cases of the measles in Victorian residents who have returned from overseas travel, only two were infectious while attending public places, the department said in an alert issued Friday morning.

The residents visited Phillip Island Adventure Resort for Adventist Women’s Conference on Saturday, July 27, from 8am to 7pm; and Pino’s Trattoria from 5pm to 7pm on the same day.

The onset of symptoms are up to Wednesday, August 14.

They also visited the Phillip Island Adventure Resort for Adventist Women’s Conference on Sunday, July 28, from 9am to 1pm – with the onset of symptoms up to Thursday, August 15.

In 2019 there have now been 29 cases of confirmed measles notified in Victoria.

Almost all cases are in people who are not fully immunised against measles, who have either travelled overseas or been in contact with travellers from overseas in Victoria.

Many cases are people born since 1966 who believed they were fully immunised but who had not had two doses of MMR vaccine.

Anyone who presents with signs and symptoms compatible with measles should be tested and notified to the department.

There should be an especially high index of suspicion if they have visited any of the areas listed above and are unvaccinated or partially vaccinated for measles.

 

Summary of recommendations

 

  • Be alert for measles infection – ensure all staff, especially triage nurses, have a high index of suspicion for measles in 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 measles serology in all suspected cases.
  • Call the department to discuss the need for nose and throat swabs for 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 face mask and isolate them, until a measles diagnosis can be excluded; and
    – 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 (MMR) vaccine.