South Eastern Sydney Local Health District has issued a warning to people in the Sutherland Shire area, and those who attended Sydney Children's Hospital Emergency Department at Randwick on 1 November, to be alert for signs and symptoms of measles infection, following detection of the virus in a child who spent time in these locations while infectious.
A full list of potential exposure sites is provided below. Anyone who spent time in these locations and develops measles like symptoms should seek medical attention immediately, either at their General Practitioner (GP) or local emergency department (ED). NSW Health requests that people experiencing symptoms of measles phone ahead so that staff at the GP practice or ED can make arrangements to limit their exposure to others when they arrive.
Symptoms include fever, sore eyes, runny nose and a cough, followed three to four days later by a red blotchy rash spreading from the head and neck to the rest of the body.
Potential exposure sites
Sutherland Shire and Sydney Children's Hospital - Sunday 28 October to Thursday 1 November 2018
||Westfield Miranda, 600 Kingsway Miranda, 2pm - 3:30pm|
||Sylvania Heights Community Club, 288 Box Rd Sylvania, 10:30am - 11:30am|
||Westfield Miranda, 600 Kingsway Miranda, 2pm - 4pm|
||Sutherland Hospital Emergency Department, Kingsway and Kareena Rd Carringbah, 4:30pm 31 October to 4:00am 1 November|
||Sydney Children's Hospital Emergency Department, High St Randwick, 3:30am to 11am|
Measles is highly contagious and is spread in the air through coughing or sneezing by someone who is unwell with the disease. The time from exposure to onset of symptoms is usually about 10 days, but can be as long as 18 days.
The first symptoms to look out for are fever, tiredness, cough, runny nose, sore red eyes and feeling unwell. A red spotty rash appears a few days later.
Anyone born after 1966 who has not received two doses of measles containing vaccine, or had measles infection in the past, is at risk of catching measles if exposed. People born before 1966 are generally considered to be immune, as measles was much more common during this time.
Measles vaccines are provided free to children as measles mumps rubella (MMR) vaccine at 12 months and measles mumps rubella varicella (MMRV) vaccine at 18 months of age as part of the National Immunisation Program.
People in NSW who were born after 1966, and do not have documented evidence of previous measles infection, or having received two doses of measles vaccine can access free MMR vaccine via their GP.
People born between 1966 and 1994 should not assume they are fully protected, even if they had all their childhood vaccines, as changes to the vaccination schedule during this period means they may not have received two doses of vaccine. People who are unsure of whether they have received two doses in the past can safely be given another measles vaccine.
NSW Health encourages travellers to make sure they are fully protected against measles prior to overseas travel, as measles remains endemic in many areas including parts of Asia, Africa and the Middle East, and outbreaks are currently occurring across Europe and South America.
For more information see our measles webpage