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Airport alarm after disease detected on flights

The infected passenger returned to Sydney on a flight from Jakarta.

The infected passenger returned to Sydney on a flight from Jakarta.

A trans-Tasman travel warning has been issued after a person infected with the measles returned to Australia.

NSW, ACT and New Zealand health officials have all issued warnings after a person who flew from Canberra to Sydney was diagnosed with measles after contracting the illness in Indonesia.

Passengers on QF42 from Jakarta to Sydney on February 15 have been advised to check for symptoms, along with travellers who were in Sydney’s international arrivals terminal and baggage claim area the following morning.

Those who rode a transfer bus to the domestic departures terminal before 10am and caught QF1433 to the ACT should also be on alert.

The alarm also extends to the domestic arrivals terminal of Canberra Airport, including baggage claim, on the same day.

New Zealand health authorities issued a similar warning for travellers returning there.

“To date, six contacts from the flight have been contacted, and public health service staff are working to rapidly contact an additional 29 contacts, who were identified yesterday,” spokesperson Dr William Rainger said on Wednesday night.

“The focus is now on identifying any other passengers from this flight who may have travelled onwards to New Zealand.”

NSW Health’s Dr Katherine Todd said the locations listed did not pose an ongoing risk. But she urged anyone who might be susceptible to measles and present at them last Wednesday to check for symptoms.

“Those most likely to be susceptible … are infants under 12 months of age who are too young to be vaccinated and anyone who is not fully vaccinated against the disease, which may include some adults,” she said.

ACT Health said anyone who attended the sites identified was at “very low risk of exposure to measles” but should monitor for symptoms until March 5.

Measles is a highly infectious disease that spreads easily to anyone who is not immune. Symptoms include fever, cough, runny nose, sore and watery “pink” eyes, followed by a blotchy rash.

Signs and symptoms usually develop between seven-18 days after exposure.

-with agencies

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