NSW Health is advising people to be alert for signs and symptoms of measles after being notified of a new confirmed case who was infectious while visiting a location in south western Sydney.
The case was a seven-month-old infant who had recently returned from the Middle East where there have been outbreaks of measles in several countries. The infant, who was too young to be vaccinated, was not considered to be infectious on the flight into Sydney.
This is the second case of measles in an overseas traveller this week, and it is not believed to be related to a confirmed case in western Sydney earlier this week. We are encouraging anyone who has recently returned from Asia and the Middle East to look out for symptoms of measles.
People who attended the following location should watch for the development of symptoms:
- Chouchou BeBe Adventure Playground Auburn Central Mall Food Court next to Aldi between 1pm and 3.30 pm, Thursday 11 January.
South Western Sydney Local Health District Acting Director of Public Health, Dr John Hall said people who visited the above location should be on the lookout for symptoms.
“It can take up to 18 days for symptoms to appear after an exposure, so it’s important for people who went to Chouchou BeBe Adventure Playground to look out for symptoms until 29 January,” Dr Hall said.
“Symptoms to watch out for include fever, sore eyes and a cough, usually followed three or four days later by a red, blotchy rash that spreads from the head to the rest of the body.
“We want to remind the community to make sure they are up to date with their vaccinations because the measles vaccine can prevent the disease after exposure if administered early enough.
“This should be a reminder for everyone to check that they are protected against measles, which is very infectious.
“Anyone born during or after 1966 needs to ensure they have received two doses of measles vaccine, this is particularly important prior to overseas travel, as measles outbreaks are occurring in several regions of the world at the moment.”
The measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine is safe and effective against measles and is included on the National Immunisation Program (NIP) for children at 12 and 18 months of age. It is also free in NSW for anyone born during or after 1966 who hasn’t already had two doses.
Children under the age of 12 months can receive their first dose of MMR up to three months earlier if they are travelling to areas considered high risk for measles following consultation with their GP.
People who are unsure of whether they have had two doses should get a vaccine, as additional doses are safe. This is particularly important prior to travel. MMR vaccine is available from GPs (all ages) and pharmacies (people over 5 years of age). For more information on measles, view the measles factsheet.
If you have questions about measles, please call your GP or Healthdirect on 1800 022 222.