A passenger flying from Jakarta to Sydney airport was reported to be carrying measles throughout several checkpoints amid their trip.
Passengers who traveled through Sydney International and domestic airports on Wednesday are being urged to stay alert for signs and symptoms of measles. This comes after an ACT resident who flew into Sydney was diagnosed with the illness. The person developed measles sometime before traveling between Jakarta and Sydney.
While NSW Health has confirmed that the identified locations do not pose an ongoing risk, people who may be susceptible to measles and were present at the below locations on Wednesday, February 14th are urged to be alert for symptoms until March 5.
- Passengers on QF42 from Jakarta to Sydney departing at 7pm on February 14 and arriving in Sydney 6.20am on February 15,
- In the international arrivals terminal including baggage claim and customs, between 6am and 8am on February 15,
- Passengers on the Qantas transfers bus between the International and Domestic Terminals on the morning of February 15,
- In the domestic departures terminal of Sydney Airport before 10am on February 15,
- Passengers on flight QF1433 from Sydney to ACT departing 10am on February 15, and
- In the domestic arrivals terminal of Canberra Airport, including baggage claim between 11am and 11.30am on February 15
Measles is highly contagious and is spread in the air through coughing or sneezing. Symptoms of measles include fever, 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.
The measles-mumps-rubella vaccine is safe and effective protection against measles. It’s free for anyone born during or after 1966 who hasn’t already had two doses. If you’re unsure whether you’ve had two doses, it’s safe to have another.
Those who were on the flights and who are under the age of 12 months and have not received a measles vaccine, pregnant and not previously vaccinated against measles, or immunocompromised are asked to urgently contact their local public health unit at 1300-066-055 to seek advice.
Dr. Katherine Todd, the NSW Health assisting director of communicable diseases, has explained that those most likely to be susceptible to measles are infants under 12 months of age who are too young to be vaccinated, and anyone who is not fully vaccinated against the disease, which may include some adults.
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If you develop symptoms, it is important to call ahead to your GP to ensure you do not wait in the waiting room with other patients.
In the case of exposure to measles or other infectious diseases, individuals should follow public health advice and monitor for symptoms. Early identification and management can prevent the spread of the disease to others and reduce the risk of complications.