Three people who attended RMIT University’s graduation ceremony in Melbourne last month have been diagnosed with measles, prompting fears that thousands more may have been exposed.
According to ABC News, an 11-year-old child from Victoria and 17-year-old from the Northern Territory have both been diagnosed with the disease along with a 35-year-old man.
The three have no connection to one another, except having attended the graduation ceremony at Etihad Stadium on December 17, but it is confirmed that the child and teenager had not been vaccinated against the disease.
Thousands may have been exposed to measles at the RMIT graduation ceremony in Melbourne last month.
Victoria’s chief health officer Rosemary Lester said she was “almost certain” the source of the outbreak was someone attending the ceremony while infected.
“We are concerned that more people may have been infected from the event,” she said. “Measles has an incubation period of up to 18 days, so illness acquired from this event could still be coming through, and cases could still remain infectious for many days.”
“Measles is very highly infectious and it will seek out people who are unvaccinated and unfortunately these two young people were unvaccinated,” Dr Lester said.
Over 90 per cent of Australians are vaccinated against the disease but Dr Lester said it was “quite possible” that more cases would emerge.
“It is a concern to me that we still do have people who are needlessly at risk of what’s a very serious disease,” Dr Lester said.
Measles begins with a fever, sore red eyes, and a rash which appears after three or four days. It usually lasts several weeks and can have serious side effects including pneumonia and encephalitis.
“If anyone has those symptoms they should seek medical attention,” she said.
“Preferably [they should] ring ahead to the doctor or hospital to say that they have those symptoms so that the doctor or hospital can isolate them when they come in to make sure they don’t mix with other patients.”
RMIT management have contacted all graduates who attended the ceremony and asked them to alert their families and friends.