NSW Health has issued an alert following the diagnosis of measles in two people in Western Sydney. The two cases are unrelated, but both occurred in people recently returned from travel to South East Asia.
This alert details exposures of one case, related to Eastwood Shopping Centre. Exposures for the other case, related to an international flight, Blacktown and Stanhope Gardens can be found in the measles alert - international flight, Blacktown and Stanhope Gardens.
A man in his thirties, recently returned from Thailand, has been diagnosed with measles. The man, whose vaccination status is unknown, became unwell a few days after arriving home in Sydney. Measles is common in many South East Asian countries, including Thailand and other places popular with Australian travellers. People planning travel to South East Asia should consult their GP when planning a trip, to discuss measures that can be undertaken to reduce the risk of preventable diseases like measles.
While infectious the man attended a medical centre within the Eastwood Shopping Centre. Details of the potential exposure are provided in the map and table below.
People in the shopping centre at the same time as the man, who may be susceptible to measles such as:
- children under the age of 12 months,
- people with a weakened immune system (e.g. from cancer therapy or high dose steroid use),
- those who do not have evidence of having received two doses of measles containing vaccine or past measles infection;
should contact their local public health unit on 1300 066 055 for advice as preventive injections can be given for up to six days after exposure, for highly susceptible people.
People who were in the shopping centre at the same time as the man are advised to be alert for signs and symptoms of measles until 5 April as it can take up to 18 days for symptoms to present, following exposure to a person infectious with measles.
The local public health unit are working with the medical practice to directly contact patients who were in the practice at the same time as the man.
More information about measles can be found below, or on Measles.
Eastwood Shopping Centre Monday 18 March 2019
Map created using Arc GIS Portal (Sources: Esri, OpenStreetMap contributors, CC-BY-SA)
|Monday 18 March 2019
||Eastwood Shopping Centre, 152-160 Rowe Street Eastwood, between 12:00pm and 1:00pm|
This site poses no ongoing risk to the public.
Measles is a highly contagious viral illness, which is spread easily through the air when an infectious person coughs, sneezes or breathes. The measles virus can remain in the air for short periods of time, so simply being in the same room as a person with measles can result in infection if you are not immune.
Measles generally begins with a fever, cough, runny nose and/or sore, red eyes, followed a few days later by a red, spotty, non-itchy rash which starts on the face and spreads to the body and limbs. People with measles may also experience diarrhoea and this is more common in small children.
People who are experiencing signs and symptoms of measles should seek medical attention. NSW Health recommends calling ahead to the practice or emergency department to alert of them of your symptoms so that measures can be taken to limit your exposure to others upon your arrival.
Measles is a serious illness, and complications such as diarrhoea, middle ear infection and pneumonia occur in up to one third of cases. Measles encephalitis is swelling of the brain caused by the measles virus and occurs in up to one in 1000 cases. A fatal condition known as sub-acute sclerosing pan encephalitis occurs in 1 in 10000 cases and is a progressive neurological disorder which presents years after measles infection.
People are at risk of measles if they are exposed to an infectious case and have never had measles or have not received two doses of measles containing vaccine. Two doses of measles containing vaccine provide lifelong protection against infection in 99 per cent of vaccinated people. People born before 1966 are assumed to be immune to measles.
NSW Health encourages all people 12 months of age or older, and born during or after 1966 make sure they have received two doses of measles vaccine. For people who are unsure of whether they have previously received two doses, it is safe to receive more than two.
Travellers are encouraged to discuss their travel plans with their GP to ensure that they are protected against preventable diseases such as measles prior to travel. People travelling with children between the ages of 9 months and 18 months of age should discuss travel plans with their doctor, as the vaccination schedule can be adjusted for children travelling to high risk areas for measles.
For more information download the measles fact sheet, or visit Measles.