Measles warning for Bali travellers

16 March 2017

Western Australians heading to Bali are being urged to make sure they have been appropriately vaccinated against measles, following a recent surge of cases contracted on the island. 

Boy with a red blotchy measles rash on his back, neck and face

The warning comes as four adults, from different travelling parties, contracted measles infection after they returned to WA from Bali over the past fortnight.

There have been more than 20 separate importations of measles from Bali to WA since 2013, including six already this year, which is more than for any other overseas travel destination.

While high vaccination coverage has meant that naturally occurring measles has been eliminated from WA for around 20 years, occasional cases and small outbreaks still occur due to tourists or WA residents being infected overseas.

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

Early symptoms 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.

Travellers returning from Bali (or other countries) who develop a fever with any of the above symptoms , within two to three weeks of returning home, should consult their doctor.

Anyone who thinks they might have measles should call ahead so that they can be isolated when they arrive at the GP surgery or Emergency Department, to prevent infecting other patients and staff.

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