Measles alert following second case in NSW

NSW Health is advising people to be alert for symptoms of measles after a second case was diagnosed recently.

A local woman with the infection visited a number of locations in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs and Inner West while infectious. The young woman had not travelled prior to her illness and has no known links to previously identified measles cases.

Dr Christine Selvey, NSW Health Acting Director of Communicable Diseases said, “This is the second case of measles in two days in a person who has not travelled overseas. This is a reminder for everyone to check that they are protected against measles, which is extremely infectious.”

“As it’s not clear where this woman acquired her infection, it is important that everyone is on the lookout for the early signs of measles, particularly people born during or after 1966 who have not had 2 doses of measles vaccine.

“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. Anyone who develops symptoms should arrange to see their GP and call ahead to ensure they don’t wait alongside other patients,” Dr Selvey said.

“The measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine is safe and highly effective, with two doses providing lifelong protection in 99 out of 100 people who are vaccinated. Anyone born during or after 1966 needs to ensure that they have received two measles shots. If you’re unsure whether you’ve been vaccinated against measles in the past, it’s safe to have a dose.”

The woman is believed to have been infectious from 28 December 2019. She has visited many locations and travelled on buses and trains in the Eastern Suburbs and Inner West while infectious:

Locations:

Saturday 28 December

  • Flemington Markets, Parramatta Road, Homebush, 10.30am to 1pm
  • Hong Dat Butcher, 299 Illawarra Rd, Marrickville NSW 2204, around 1.30-2pm
  • Cityheroes Pool & Billiards, 6/505 George St, Sydney 2000, from 3pm – 6.30pm

Sunday 29 December

  • Roll’d restaurant,  Sydney International Airport, from 2.30pm – 8.30pm

Monday 30 December

  • Chemist Warehouse Marrickville, 3/258 Illawarra Rd, Marrickville NSW 2204, around 7.30-8.30pm
  • Vietnamese Street Food, 294 Illawarra Rd, Marrickville NSW 2204, from 9-10pm

Wednesday 1 January

  • Cang Restaurant Mascot, Etherden Walk, Mascot NSW 2020. 1-2.30pm

Saturday 28 December – Thursday 2nd January

  • Kiara North Apartment Building, 671- 675 Gardeners Road, Mascot NSW 2020

Public transport:

28 December 2019

  • Train: (Mascot to Flemington) at between 9am to 9.30am
  • Train (Flemington to Redfern) departing between 12-12.30pm
  • Bus (Redfern to Marrickville) replacement bus for train around 1.15pm
  • Bus 418 (Marrickville to Mascot) departing around 1.50-2pm
  • Train Mascot to Town Hall (arrived Town Hall at 3pm)
  • Train from Museum to Mascot departing around 6pm

29 December 2019

  • Bus 420 or 400 Mascot to Intl Airport 2:30pm
  • Bus 400 or 420 Intl Airport to Mascot, at 8:10pm

30 December 2019

  • Bus 418: At 7pm caught bus to Marrickville shops from Mascot
  • Bus 418 from Marrickville to Mascot, departing 9.30pm

31 December 2019

  • Bus 418 to Marrickville (from Mascot) at 12pm
  • Bus 418 Marrickville to Mascot at 1.30pm

While the locations pose no ongoing threat to the public, people who may have been exposed to the woman, by being in the same place at the same time, are at risk of developing measles until 19 January, as it can take up to 18 days for symptoms to develop following exposure to measles. Unvaccinated people who attended the same locations on the same day and at the same time as this case should contact their local public health unit on 1300 066 055 for advice.

Measles vaccine may help prevent measles in unvaccinated people if given within 72 hours of an exposure to a measles case, and another treatment (immunoglobulin) can be given for unvaccinated people at higher risk of measles complications up to 6 days after exposure.

People at high risk of measles complications include:

  • Children from birth to 11 months (who are too young for routine measles vaccination)
  • pregnant women who haven’t had a measles vaccination
  • people with a weakened immune system due to illness or treatment

Measles is a highly infectious vaccine preventable disease that is spread through the air when someone who is infectious coughs or sneezes.

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.

The NSW Government is investing $130 million in the 2019-20 Immunisation Program budget, including Commonwealth and state vaccines.

For information about the other recent case of measles, please see: https://www.slhd.nsw.gov.au/sydneyconnect/pdf/media-releases/January-2020-1.pdf

For more information about measles visit: health.nsw.gov.au/measles