Measles alert for western Sydney
Western Sydney Local Health District (WSLHD) is urging people to stay on alert for symptoms of measles after a woman was diagnosed with the highly contagious disease in NSW.
While infectious, the woman was in the following locations:
- Friday 13 September from 8pm to midnight – Gebran Lebanese Cuisine restaurant
- Sunday 15 September from 3pm to 7.45pm – Auburn Hospital Emergency Department
- Sunday 15 September 7.45pm to Tuesday 17 September 5pm – Auburn Hospital maternity ward
The WSLHD public health unit is following up with anyone, including mothers in the Auburn maternity ward who may have been in contact with the person and offering information and preventive treatment, if needed.
People who had been to the affected locations should look out for symptoms of measles until 5 October, 2019. None of the above locations pose an ongoing risk that WSLHD is aware of.
WSLHD public health unit director Dr Shopna Bag said people who have been exposed to a person infectious with measles are at risk of developing the disease if they are not already immune.
“It can take up to 18 days for symptoms to appear following exposure to a person with measles,” Dr Bag said.
“Anyone who develops symptoms should arrange to see their GP and call ahead to ensure they don’t wait in the doctor’s waiting room with other patients.
“Symptoms to watch out for include fever, sore eyes and a cough followed three or four days later by a red, blotchy rash that spreads from the head to the rest of the body.”
Measles is a vaccine preventable disease that is spread through the air when someone who is infectious with the disease coughs or sneezes.
“Measles is one of the most contagious diseases for humans but two doses of measles-mumps-rubella vaccine provide lifelong protection against measles in 99 out of 100 vaccinated people,” Dr Bag said.
NSW Health makes the measles vaccine available free for anyone born during or after 1966 who doesn’t have two documented doses of measles vaccine.
“If you’re unsure whether you’ve been vaccinated against measles in the past, it’s safe to have a dose.”
The NSW Government is investing $130 million in the 2019-20 Immunisation Program budget, including Commonwealth and state vaccines.
For more information visit health.nsw.gov.au/measles