Health Alert: Measles in Australians returning from Bali

Andrew Munro 14 March 2017

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NSW Health issues warning for travellers returning from Bali to check for symptoms of measles.

NSW Health is asking people who have recently visited Bali to check themselves for symptoms of measles after two Australian visitors contracted the disease after visiting the area. Both infected travellers were returning from Denpasar, Bali, on a Virgin Air flights last week. This is the second measles warning issued in recent weeks and, given the infectious and potentially severe nature of the disease, it's a good idea to check if you may have crossed paths with someone while they were contagious and to know what symptoms look like.

Times and places

  • Virgin Airlines Flight, 28 February: Flight VA70 from Bali, departing Denpasar at 10.30pm local time and arriving in Sydney at 7.30 am on 1 March.
  • An Auburn Road pharmacy, 4 March: Around midday
  • NAS Medical Centre, 4, 7 and 8 March: A medical centre in Auburn, Sydney
  • Auburn Hospital Emergency Department, 6 March: NSW public health staff members are directly contacting members of the public known to have been there at the time.
  • Virgin Airlines Flight, 2 March: Virgin Air Flight VA70 from Denpasar, departing at 10:30pm local time and arriving in Sydney at 7.30am 3 March
  • Sydney Airport, morning of 3 March: A domestic transfer shuttle bus at 8.00am
  • Virgin Air flight from Sydney to Brisbane, 3 March: Departing at 9.00am, arriving in Brisbane at 9.30am

Symptoms to know about

All recorded cases of measles in NSW this year have been contracted overseas, once again highlighting the importance of making sure you get travel vaccinations before departure. Initial symptoms of measles to look for include fever, sore eyes and a cough. Three or four days later, this is followed by a blotchy rash spreading from the head and neck to the rest of body. Measles spreads through the air, via coughing and sneezing and can result in serious health complications – especially in young children. MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccinations are a highly effective preventative measure, freely available in many ways, and are considered an essential part of the childhood vaccination schedule. Diseases such as measles are a lot more common in overseas destinations, even in Australian favourites like Bali. There's away the risk of getting sick overseas, and if you're planning on heading to Bali it's well worth considering travel insurance before departure to manage any costs resulting from illness while you're away.

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