Western Sydney Local Health District (WSLHD) is asking Blacktown and Mount Druitt residents to ensure they are fully vaccinated against measles after a patient from the area was recently diagnosed with the infection.
The patient developed the infection from an unknown source in the community and had spent time around the Blacktown and Mount Druitt areas prior to illness and while infectious.
Vaccination is the best protection against this extremely contagious disease.
People in the 20 to 50 year age bracket may have missed out on the full vaccination program for measles and mistakenly believe they are protected against the disease.
The measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine is safe and highly effective protection against measles, and is available for free for those aged 1 to 53 from your GP.
If you are unsure whether you have had two doses, it is safe to have another dose.
Measles is highly contagious and is spread in the air through coughing or sneezing by someone who is unwell with the disease.
Those most likely to be susceptible to measles are infants under 12 months of age who are too young to be vaccinated and young adults.
Symptoms of measles 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.
WSLHD public health unit director Dr Shopna Bag said it was important for people to look out for symptoms or visit a GP with any concerns.
“If you are worried, try not to expose other people until the GP has made a diagnosis. Stay home from work or school to avoid exposing other people to the infection,” Dr Bag said.
“Please call ahead to your GP so that you do not expose patients in the waiting room.”
For more information on measles, visit: http://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/factsheets/Pages/Measles_Factsheet.aspx