Seven measles cases in Victoria linked to overseas travellers

Status: Active

Date issued: 22 May 2019 (update to Alert issued 21 May 2019)

Issued by: Dr Angie Bone, Acting Chief Health Officer, Victoria

Issued to: General Practitioners and Hospital Emergency Departments

 Key messages

  • Seven confirmed measles cases have been identified in Victorian residents who had contact with two separate overseas travellers with measles. 
  • Be alert for measles in patients presenting with a fever at rash onset, particularly if they visited the areas indicated in the 7-18 days prior to onset of illness.. 
  • Isolate suspected cases to minimise the risk of transmission within your practice or emergency department. 
  • Notify the Communicable Disease Prevention and Control Section at the Department of Health and Human Services on 1300 651 160 of suspected cases immediately. 
  • Take blood for measles serology in all suspected cases. 
  • Discuss whether to take nose and throat swabs for PCR with the department if your suspicion for measles is high. Approval is required prior to PCR testing at the reference laboratory. PCR testing for measles does not attract a Medicare rebate. 
  • Free measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine is now available from GPs and some pharmacies for all eligible people born during or since 1966. If well patients are unsure of their vaccination status, or are aged over 18 months and have only had one vaccine, please vaccinate. Serology is not required before vaccinating. 
  • There are a large number of international measles outbreaks currently ongoing in Asia, Europe and America. People who are planning overseas travel should ensure they have received vaccinations appropriate to travel, including an MMR vaccine if they do not have a history of two previous MMR vaccinations. 

Read the full alert: Seven measles cases in Victoria linked to overseas travellers