Department of Health and Human Services

Measles alert - March 2009


The Department has now been notified of 30 confirmed cases of measles in Melbourne since 7th January.

Children or adults born during or since 1966 who do not have documented evidence of receiving two doses of a measles containing vaccine or documented evidence of laboratory confirmed measles are considered to be highly susceptible to measles.

Measles case definition

The public health definition for suspected measles is an illness with all of the following features:


  1. Be alert for new measles cases – Make sure all staff, particularly triage nurses, have a high index of suspicion for patients presenting with a febrile rash illness.

  2. Notify suspected measles cases immediately to the Communicable Disease Prevention and Control Unit on telephone 1300 651 160.

  3. Take blood for serological confirmation.

  4. Minimise the risk of measles transmission within your department
  1. Seek advice from DHS regarding the management of susceptible contacts:
  1. Check your staff vaccination records – Earlier outbreaks have affected health care workers, including some who have not been involved in the direct care of measles cases and have only been in the same ward or department as a case. All staff born since 1966 should have documentation of two doses of measles containing vaccine (see DHS Health Care Worker Immunisation Policy).

If you require any further information, please call the Communicable Disease Prevention and Control Unit on 1300 651 160.

Yours sincerely

Dr John Carnie
Chief Health Officer

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