Measles warning in Western Australia

A measles warning has been issued in Western Australia after a passenger was diagnosed with the illness. The passenger was travelling with Singapore Airlines.

The passenger from Perth was returning from holidays at the Philippines on January 29. According to the WA health officials, people coming in contact with this passenger may have been inadvertently exposed to the infection. They add that those who are not immune due to previous vaccination could be at risk of the viral infection.

3d illustration measles virus. Image Credit: Design_Cells / Shutterstock
3d illustration measles virus. Image Credit: Design_Cells / Shutterstock

The officials urge people who were on the same flight or have visited Coles at Raine Square in the Perth CBD on the morning of January 30 to be vigilant about symptoms of measles till end of the month and report to their health care providers if they encounter symptoms of the viral infection.

Measles is a viral infection caused by a virus in the paramyxovirus family and can spread via respiratory tract secretions that have been released as aerosols in air due to sneezing and coughing. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), these symptoms usually appear around 10-12 days after infection. Some of the symptoms of the infection include high fever, runny nose, redness of eyes, typical rash all over the body etc.

Measles can occur at all ages but children between the ages of 1 and 4 are most at risk. The virus is spread via millions of tiny droplets that are sneezed or coughed out by an infected person. Persons around who breathe in the droplets with the virus can catch the infection. Infection can also be spread when objects contaminated with the droplets are touched and the hands are brought near the nose of mouth.

The initial symptoms of measles are much like a common cold of flu. There is high fever, red and runny eyes and nose and a characteristic rash. There are greyish white spots in the mouth and throat.

After a few days a red-brown spotty rash will appear all over the body. This starts behind the ears commonly and spreads around the head and neck before spreading to the legs and the whole body.

Dr. Ananya Mandal

Written by

Dr. Ananya Mandal

Dr. Ananya Mandal is a doctor by profession, lecturer by vocation and a medical writer by passion. She specialized in Clinical Pharmacology after her bachelor's (MBBS). For her, health communication is not just writing complicated reviews for professionals but making medical knowledge understandable and available to the general public as well.

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