MEASLES OUTBREAK: NSW Health issues urgent warning following a case of measles in Sydney

NSW Health has issued an urgent warning as well as a list of ‘exposure sites’ after a case of measles has been reported in Sydney.

The patient is now isolated in a hospital but was out in the community whilst infectious, and therefore, NSW Health is altering the public.

It’s the first case of measles in the state since February 2020.

Measles Warning: Seventh Case Contracted Brought Back To NSW

Where the patient went in the community while infectious with measles

The patient is a 50-year-old who contracted the virus while overseas in Asia but developed symptoms when they returned to Sydney.

Here is the list of places the person went while infected:

Andrew’s Catholic Church Malabar for mass, Sunday 4 September at 10.30am

Tyree Energy Building, University of NSW on Tuesday 6 September (all day)

Lounge Restaurant, University of NSW on Tuesday 6 September, 12.15pm to 2pm

•Pacific Square, Maroubra on Wednesday 7 September, 9am to 11am

NSW Health Executive Director Dr Jeremy McAnulty has urged anyone who was at those locations to monitor themselves for symptoms until September 24.

Those vulnerable are people who are unvaccinated, have not had two-lifetime doses of the measles vaccine, have a confirmed history of measles infection or have a weakened immune system. 

You can call your local public health unit ASAP on 1300 066 055 for advice or if you have any concerns. 

measles baby

Symptoms to look out for:

  • Fever
  • Sore eyes
  • Cough
  • Red blotchy rash spreading from the head and neck to the rest of the body

If you have these symptoms you are urged to call your GP as soon as possible and do not sit in a waiting room while infectious with other patients.

Measles is highly contagious and is spread in the air through coughing or sneezing by someone who is unwell with the disease.

The measles vaccine is available and free to anyone born during or after 1966 who doesn’t have two documented doses of measles vaccine.

“Maintaining high rates of measles immunisation within the community reduces the risk of measles being imported into Australia by returned travellers,” says Dr McAnulty.

“The measles-mumps-rubella vaccine is a safe and effective protection against measles.”

“It’s free for anyone born during or after 1966 who hasn’t already had two doses. If you’re unsure whether you’ve had two doses, it’s safe to have another.”

In June, there was a reported case of measles in a Victorian resident who visited the border region but stayed in Albury while unknowingly infectious.

Measles

People with measles symptoms should:

  • Seek medical advice as soon as possible
  • Stay home from work or school
  • Limit other activities to avoid exposing others
  • Call ahead before visiting the doctor or emergency department so that arrangements can be made to minimise the risk of spreading the infection.

For more information about measles, as well as the signs and symptoms, read NSW Health’s guide here.

If you are worried or need support, we advise you to speak to your GP as soon as possible.

Measles: What is it, what are the symptoms and what to do

Measles Vaccine

Measles is a highly infectious viral illness that can begin with a cough, fever, sore red eyes and runny nose, which will then develop into a red spotty rash on the face and neck after three to four days. These symptoms often appear within 10 days of exposure but can sometimes take up to 18 days to appear.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), measles cases have risen in the last year.

Symptoms to look out for:

  • A runny nose
  • Red eyes
  • A cough
  • Fever and a rash

Measles has an incubation period of between 7 and 18 days.

What to do if you suspect you or your child has measles

  • Seek medical advice immediately
  • Stay home from work or school
  • Limit other activities to avoid exposing others
  • Call ahead before visiting the doctor or emergency department so that arrangements can be made to minimise the risk of spreading the infection

If you are worried or need support, we advise you to speak to your GP as soon as possible.

Who is at risk?

NSW Health states that most people born before 1966 are immune to the virus. However, people at risk of contracting measles include:

  • People born after 1966, and have not had two doses of the measles vacation from the age of 12 months
  • Babies before the age of one who have not yet been vaccinated
  • People with a weakened immune system (for example someone undergoing chemotherapy)
  • People who are not immune and travel to countries where measles is prominent

Also, do not hesitate to seek medical assistance if you believe someone in your family has contracted measles.

For more information on the facts about measles, as well as the signs and symptoms, read NSW Health’s guide here.

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