PASSENGERS who arrived in Melbourne on a flight from Singapore on Monday last week are being urged to look for symptoms of measles, after a man on board was diagnosed.
The man was diagnosed a week after arriving in Melbourne on April 16 and health authorities are warning that as he had already visited a number of public places - including the airport shuttle bus service, the baggage collection area and a school basketball stadium and there is increased risk the infectious disease has spread.
The man arrived on the Qantas QF 36 flight about 6.40am on April 16, becoming ill after the flight.
Deputy Chief Health Officer Dr Brett Sutton said given that the man may have been infectious during the flight and while travelling in Thailand earlier, the department was working with the airline to contact passengers who were on this international flight.
"Unfortunately the notification was made late to the department, so it's only now that passengers are being warned and some may already be showing early symptoms," Dr Sutton said.
"It's critical that diagnosing doctors and laboratories notify the department as soon as they're aware of cases to enable immediate follow-up."
People who were in the Melbourne airport international baggage collection area and shuttle bus pick up area before 7.30am that day and who develop illness over the next week, should alert their doctor or hospital emergency department.
The man also attended the Wildcats Basketball Stadium at Eltham High School after 4.45pm on Saturday, April 21.
The players of these four teams have already been notified.
Dr Sutton said measles was a highly infectious viral disease that could cause serious
illness, particularly in very young children and adults, and it could lead to pneumonia and other serious complications.
The illness usually begins with common cold symptoms such as runny nose, red eyes and a cough, followed by fever and rash.
"The characteristic measles rash usually begins 3-7 days after the first symptoms, generally starting on the face and then spreading to the rest of the body," he said.
"Anyone developing symptoms is advised to ring ahead to their general practitioner or hospital first and tell them that they may have measles so that appropriate steps can be taken to avoid contact with other patients."