Measles alert for western Sydney

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Western Sydney Local Health District is advising people to be alert for signs and symptoms of measles after being notified of an infant with the illness.

The infant, who is too young to be vaccinated, and recently returned from southeast Asia where there have been ongoing outbreaks of measles in several countries.

Dr Catherine Bateman, Director of the Public Health Unit at Western Sydney Local Health District said there is no ongoing risk to the public, but said it was important those who attended several locations should be on the lookout for symptoms.

Dr Bateman said if you, or someone you know, were on the below flights or visited the below locations at the same time you may have been exposed to the virus and should monitor for symptoms.

  • Flight VJ085 from Ho Chi Minh City arriving Sydney International Airport 2 March approx. 8am
  • Sydney International Airport on 2 March from approximately 8am to 10am
  • Rhodes Waterside on
    • 2 March between 11.00am and 12.45pm   
    • 8 March between 12.30pm and 1.10pm
  • The Children’s Hospital at Westmead Emergency Department on
    • 5 March 2024 between 10.30pm and 6 March 12.30am
    • 6 March 2024 between 2.30am and 2.15pm
  • The Children’s Hospital Westmead between 8 – 13 March 2024.

Dr Bateman urges people who may be susceptible to measles to get vaccinated, and advises to be alert for signs and symptoms of measles until 31 March if they were in these places at these times.

“Symptoms include fever, sore eyes, runny nose 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,” Dr Bateman said.

Measles is spread through the air when an infectious person coughs or sneezes.

“It can take up to 18 days for symptoms to appear following exposure to a person with measles. Anyone who develops symptoms should see their GP and call ahead to make sure they are not put in the waiting room with other patients,” Dr Bateman said.

Measles is highly infectious and anyone born during or after 1966 needs to make sure they have received two doses of measles vaccine to be properly protected.

Vaccination is safe and very effective.

“Two doses of measles-mumps-rubella vaccine provide lifelong protection against measles. If you’re not sure whether you’ve been immunised against measles, it’s safe to have a dose.”

Free measles vaccine is available in NSW to anyone born during or after 1966 who doesn’t have two documented doses of measles vaccine.

“Measles outbreaks are occurring in several regions of the world. Travellers should check they are protected against measles before heading overseas.”

“Infants from 6 months of age can have an MMR vaccination if travelling overseas. Talk to your GP if you need more information.” 

For more information on measles, view the measles factsheet

If you, or a loved one, is experiencing measles symptoms, or have questions about measles, please call your GP or Healthdirect on 1800 022 222.​