NSW Health has renewed its calls for people in western Sydney to take advantage of free measles shots available at their GP following the detection of four measles cases in the area.
Three infants and a young adult from the western Sydney region, and a young adult from Queensland who spent time in far northern NSW, have contracted the disease.
Of the cases, the three were infants too young to be vaccinated and the adult could not remember their vaccination status. One infant acquired the disease from a previously reported case.
Known locations that patients visited while infectious with measles include:
- Hillsong Church, Bella Vista 26 March - 11am-12:30pm
- Westpoint Shopping Centre, Blacktown 25 March – lunch period
- Costco Lidcombe 24 March - lunch period
- Total Tools, Parramatta Rd, - Auburn 24 March – early afternoon
- Toongabbie RSL 23 March - between 5:30 – 7:30pm
- Auburn town centre 23 March - between 11am – 1pm
- Chester Hill Minett’s Pharmacy 23 March - around 8pm.
The Queensland resident spent time in Northern NSW including attending Tweed Heads Hospital emergency department while infectious on 26 and 28 March.
Symptoms of measles include fever, sore eyes and a cough followed three or four days later by a red, blotchy rash spreading from the head and neck to the rest of the body.
Dr Vicky Sheppeard, Director, Communicable Disease Branch, said unless people are certain they have had two measles shots, they should visit their GP as soon as possible.
“Measles is highly contagious and is spread in the air through coughing or sneezing by someone who is unwell with the disease,” Dr Sheppeard said.
“These latest cases reinforce the importance of getting vaccinated.
“A highly effective measles vaccine has been freely available for many years and it is vital for everyone, including adults and children, to have two doses of the measles vaccine during their lifetime.”
Dr Sheppeard said people with measles symptoms should seek medical advice as soon as possible, stay home from work or school, and limit other activities to avoid exposing other vulnerable people, such as infants, to the infection.
“Please call ahead to your doctor or emergency department so that arrangements can be made to keep you away from others to minimise the risk of spreading the infection,” she said.
For more information on measles, visit: http://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/factsheets/Pages/Measles_Factsheet.aspx