Watch out for measles symptoms

Measles alert
NSW Health has issued a measles alert.














Western Sydney Local Health District has renewed calls for people travelling overseas to ensure their vaccinations are up to date after a person presented to Blacktown Hospital with measles.

The person was infectious in the hospital’s Emergency Department from 10.00pm on Sunday 10 December until 3.30am on Monday 11 December and is now in an isolation ward in the hospital.

It is also likely they were infectious while travelling from India on two commercial flights from Delhi to Bangkok and then Bangkok to Sydney.

The person was a Thai Airlines passenger departing from Delhi on Saturday 9 December 2017 to Sydney:

  • Delhi to Bangkok (TG324) departing Indira Gandhi International Airport, Delhi at 11.10am and arriving at Suvarnabhumi International Airport, Bangkok at 4.40pm on Saturday 9 December
  • Bangkok to Sydney (TG475) departing Suvarnabhumi International Airport at 5.50pm on Saturday 9 December and arriving at Sydney International Airport at 7.10am on Sunday 10 December 2017.

WSLHD Public Health Unit director Dr Shopna Bag said contact is being made with people who may have been directly exposed to the virus.

“Measles is highly contagious. It can be spread by coughing or sneezing by someone who is infected,” said Dr Bag.

“Vaccination is the best protection against measles and is free at your GP. Two doses of the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine are required for lifelong protection and if you’re uncertain whether you had the vaccine, it is safe to have it again.

“Older infants, children and adults born after 1965, who have not had two doses of the MMR vaccine or evidence of previous infection with measles, are particularly susceptible to measles and we encourage them to get vaccinated.”

Dr Bag said people who were in the locations on the dates the patient visited should look out for symptoms.

Measles symptoms include fever, sore eyes and a cough followed three or four days later by a red, blotchy rash spreading from the head and neck to the rest of the body.

“Look out for symptoms over the next seven to 18 days. If you have these symptoms you should visit your doctor as soon as possible.

“Please call your doctor before visiting the surgery so that arrangements can be made to minimise the risk of spreading the infection to others.

“Stay home from work or school to avoid exposing other people, such as infants, to the infection,” Dr Bag said.

Measles is very common in some countries. People planning to travel overseas are advised to discuss with their GP whether they need the MMR vaccine, or other vaccines, prior to travel.

For more information on measles, visit: