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3 cases of measles detected on a Qantas flight from S’pore to Melbourne

Australia’s Victoria state authorities have issued an urgent health warning about measles to passengers on a Qantas flight from Singapore and to visitors to Melbourne’s international airport on Tuesday.

Two members of a family of three travelling from Singapore to Melbourne were classified as infectious measles cases and were given immediate medical attention after landing.

The family is believed to be residing in Melbourne, Victoria.

Since the detection of the measles cases, Victoria’s health department has listed two exposure sites: Qantas flight QF36 that departed Singapore on Monday evening and arrived in Melbourne at 6.10am on Tuesday, and Melbourne Airport’s international arrivals hall between 6.10am and 8.40am on Tuesday.

Measles, a highly contagious viral infection that affects the respiratory system and often results in a skin rash, is more common among children, but it is also possible to contract the illness at any age.

The ages of the family members have not been disclosed. 

Victoria’s health department said in a statement: “Measles usually begins with common cold-like symptoms such as a runny nose, red eyes and a cough, followed by fever and a rash.

“The characteristic measles rash usually begins three to four days after the first symptoms, generally starting on the face and then spreading to the rest of the body,” it added. 

The department advised passengers and visitors present at the exposure sites to monitor their health and look out for any symptoms. 

This year alone, Victoria has detected five cases of measles so far.

Singapore has detected two cases this year, according to the Ministry of Health’s website. Measles cases in Singapore are considered uncommon as all children are required to receive two immunisation doses as part of the Singapore National Childhood Immunisation Schedule.

The Straits Times has contacted Changi Airport, Qantas and the Ministry of Health for comment.

INFECTIOUS DISEASESAustralia