NSW Health is warning the public to be alert to the
symptoms of measles after a person infectious with the virus visited several
busy parts of Sydney.
Dr Christine Selvey, Medical Epidemiologist, Communicable
Diseases Branch at NSW Health says a young adult who recently returned from
India, spent time at the Macquarie Centre, Moore Park, Meadowbank and Westmead
Hospital while infectious during the past week.
“The time from exposure to the onset of symptoms is typically around 10 days
but it can be as long as 18 days, so people who were exposed could have
symptoms already or develop them over the next week,” Dr Selvey
“Measles is highly infectious and contagious for people who are not fully
immunised. It is easily 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,” she said.
“Complications can range from an ear infection to pneumonia or swelling of the
Dr Selvey advised parents of infants or other people who aren’t fully
vaccinated against measles who have visited the same Sydney locations as the
affected individual, to be on the lookout for symptoms.
“If symptoms develop please phone ahead when seeking medical attention to
ensure you don’t share the waiting area with other patients,” she said.
“Measles is now a rare disease but it is important to
emphasise that with people returning from holidays from parts of the world
where measles is still common, we can expect to see more cases in NSW and
people who have not had two doses of vaccine may be at risk.
“We encourage anyone who has not previously been vaccinated to do so before
they travel. Children should receive two doses of vaccine, one at 12 months and
the second at 18 months. 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.”