News

Measles alert for Adelaide to Perth flight

9 May 2018

People travelling on Qantas flight QF 585 from Adelaide to Perth on Saturday 5 May are asked to be alert to an increased risk of measles. This follows confirmation of a case of measles in a young child who was on the flight.

Red blotchy measles rash

The flight departed Adelaide around 2.00pm and arrived in Perth at around 3.55pm.

People who were on this flight, especially those seated in the vicinity of row 12, were potentially exposed and may be at risk if they are not immune.

Measles is a serious and highly contagious viral illness spread by tiny droplets released when infected people cough and sneeze.

People could also have been exposed to the infectious child in the arrivals and baggage collection areas of the Qantas domestic terminal on Saturday 5 May, during the period from around 4.00pm to 5.00pm that afternoon.

Susceptible people who were exposed to the infectious case could potentially develop measles symptoms in the period between 12 and 23 May.

People on the flight who are most vulnerable to measles infection - such as infants too young to be vaccinated, pregnant women and those with compromised immune systems - may benefit from an injection of natural antibodies, if given before 12 May. People who think they may fit this category should urgently telephone Metropolitan Communicable Disease Control team on 9222 8588 for advice.

Early symptoms of measles include fever, cough, runny nose and sore eyes, followed by a red blotchy rash about three days later. The rash usually starts on the face and spreads to the rest of the body.

Anyone who thinks they might have measles and needs medical attention should telephone ahead to a GP surgery or Emergency Department before attending, so that they can be isolated immediately on arrival in order to avoid infecting other patients and staff.

There have now been ten measles cases confirmed in Perth residents since mid-March, including four adults, five infants too young for vaccination, and one teenager.

People who are concerned they may have measles, and require medical advice after hours, can contact healthdirect on 1800 022 222.