Measles alert for Western Sydney

Western Sydney Local Health District (WSLHD) is urging people to stay on alert for symptoms of measles after an infant was diagnosed with the highly contagious disease in NSW.

The infant, who is too young to be vaccinated, is the ninth person to be reported with measles in NSW in 2020.

Investigations into the source of infection are still underway, however the patient was recently visited by extended family from a location with a current measles outbreak.

While infectious, the infant was in the following location:

  • Friday 31 January from 11.45am to 12.45pm – Plumpton Market Place food court, Jersey Rd & Hyatts Rd, Plumpton NSW 2761

The above location does not pose an ongoing risk.

People who were at this location at the time should look out for symptoms of measles until 17 February. 

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.

“If you’re unsure whether you’ve been vaccinated against measles in the past, it’s safe to have a dose.”

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.

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