Tourist returning from Bali in Western Australia has measles
A tourist returning from Bali has sparked a health alert in Western Australia after authorities discovered the traveler had visited a hotel and shops while infected with measles.
The Department of Health issued a statewide alert on Wednesday after the tourist, who has not been named, was admitted to a Perth hospital with a highly contagious illness.
Health officials are now scrambling to trace anyone potentially exposed after it was revealed the tourist had spent time in the Perth and Midwest regions while infectious.
An alert has been issued by health authorities after a tourist infected with measles returned to Western Australia and visited several locations around Perth, before the traveler was admitted to hospital.
Acting communicable disease director Jelena Maticevic said public health staff were contacting people who may be exposed.
“Measles is a highly contagious viral disease and anyone who has been potentially exposed to measles and develops measles symptoms should seek medical attention,” Dr Maticevic said.
A list of exposure sites was released by the department on Wednesday, with visitors urged to monitor for symptoms although there is no “continued risk” at these sites.
Locations listed by the Department of Health include the Royal Mail Hotel on Main Street in Meekatharra between 5:45 p.m. and 8 p.m. on September 3.
Spud shed on the Albany Highway in Kelmscott between 12.15pm and 1.15pm and Bunnings in Armadale on the corner of Ranford and Armadale roads between 12.15pm and 1.30pm on September 11.
Measles is a highly contagious viral disease that is spread by tiny droplets released when infected people cough and sneeze, and whose initial symptoms include fever, cough, runny nose and eye pain.
This is usually followed by a red, itchy rash three or four days later, which starts on the face and spreads to the rest of the body. Symptoms usually appear within seven to 18 days after exposure.
Authorities are scrambling to trace anyone who may have been infected with the disease after the tourist visited several locations, including a Bunnings.
The traveler infected with the disease arrived in Perth after a visit to Bali (pictured), Indonesia, before visiting several shops and a hotel.
Although high vaccination coverage helped eliminate measles in Australia 25 years ago, health officials have warned that small outbreaks could still occur, usually sparked by foreign travelers returning home.
Many countries are currently experiencing measles outbreaks, with unimmunized travelers at risk of becoming infected abroad and potentially returning home with it.
In July, the New South Wales government issued a public health alert after a tourist returning from overseas visited several locations in Sydney, including Rose Bay and Randwick, while infected.
Each case of measles is treated as a potential public health emergency by the country’s health authorities due to the risk of local spread and the potentially serious nature of the disease.
In most states, anyone born after 1965 who does not have proof of having received two doses in the past and is over 16 can access the government-funded measles vaccine from their GP or in pharmacies.