NSW Health is warning people who attended the ‘World Supremacy Battlegrounds’ Hip Hop dance competition held at Sydney Olympic Park on the 7-8 December 2013 to watch out for symptoms of measles.
NSW Health is aware of 3 cases of measles in people who are likely to have contracted the infection whilst attending the dance competition. The first case was notified last Friday in a competitor from Adelaide and overnight cases were reported from New Zealand as well as in a Sydney resident.
Dr. Vicky Sheppeard, Director of Communicable Diseases at NSW Health said that measles is highly contagious among people who are not fully immunised. “Measles is highly infectious and is spread through coughing and sneezing. Symptoms can include fever, tiredness, runny nose, cough and sore red eyes which usually last for several days before a red, blotchy rash appears. Complications can range from an ear infection to pneumonia or swelling of the brain,” Dr Sheppeard said.
She advised that anyone who participated in or attended the competition be alert for symptoms of measles. The time from exposure to the onset of symptoms is typically around 10 days but can be as long as 18 days, so there may be other cases in the community now, or secondary cases could be developing in the contacts of people who attended the event.
Dr Sheppeard advised those who attended the event and have developed symptoms of measles to contact their local public health unit or phone ahead to their local doctor if requiring medical attention. “If you have symptoms of measles please phone ahead when seeking medical attention to ensure you don’t share the waiting area with other patients,” Dr Sheppeard said.
“We encourage anyone who has not previously been vaccinated to do so. Children should receive two doses of vaccine, one at 12 months and the second at 18 months. Children over 18 months who have not had their second dose of measles vaccine can be vaccinated now. Anyone born after 1965 should have two doses of vaccine (at least 4 weeks apart).”
“If you haven’t already been immunised, NSW Health offers free MMR (Measles Mumps and Rubella) vaccine through GPs for people born after 1965.”
For further information please call your local Public Health Unit on 1300 066 055.
For a range of health information visit the NSW Health website