NSW Health has issued an alert following diagnosis of measles in a backpacker staying in the Haymarket area, and a primary school aged child from South Western Sydney.

This alert relates to the backpacker from the Haymarket area. Information related to the child from South Western Sydney can be found in the measles alert - South Western Sydney.

A man in his twenties, who has been in Australia for a number of months, became unwell while residing at the Central Perk Backpacker's Hostel in Haymarket. He reports being vaccinated against measles as a child, however the number of doses received is not able to be verified.

The man had not travelled outside of Australia prior to his illness, and has acquired the infection in Sydney. The source of the man's infection is currently under investigation.

Details of locations the man visited while he was infectious are provided in the maps and table below.

The measles virus is spread easily through the air when an infectious person coughs sneezes or breathes. It can survive 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.

People who have spent time in these locations during this period 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.

More information about measles can be found below, or on Measles.

Central Perk Backpackers Hostel, World Square, and Haymarket
Saturday 9 March to Monday 18 March 2019

Map 1: St Vincent's Hospital Emergency Department

Map with flags for Haymarket, Central Perk, World Square and St Vincent's Hopsital Emergency Department, 290 Victoria Street, Darlinghurst dated Monday March 18, 2:45pm to 3pm  

Map 2: Haymarket, Central Perk, and World Square

Map with flags for Coles World Square, 650 Goulburn Street and other shops in the vicinity, and Central Perk Backpacker Hostel, 611 George Street, Haymarket and shops in surrounding area, dated Saturday 9 March to Monday 18 March.
Maps created using Arc GIS Portal (Sources: Esri, OpenStreetMap contributors, CC-BY-SA)

​Date Location​​
​Saturday 9 March - Monday 18 March 2019

​Central Perk Backpackers Hostel, 611 George Street Haymarket

Coles World Square, 650 Goulburn Street

Various stores within World Square

Shops in the direct vicinity of Central Perk Backpackers Hostel

Monday 18 March 2019 ​St Vincent's Hospital Emergency Department 390 Victoria Street Darlinghurst, 2:45pm to 3:00pm

These sites pose no ongoing risk to the public.

The local Public Health Unit conducted a preventive vaccination clinic at the Central Perk Backpackers Hostel on 20 March 2019, for guests who had potentially been in contact with the man on 17 and 18 April, and has distributed letters to other guests of the Hostel via email and SMS. Guests of the hostel who were not able to attend the clinic, or have not received information are advised to visit their GP to discuss vaccination, or contact the Public Health Unit on 1300 066 055.

About measles

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.

Measles is about! Get vaccinated. Click here for more details. 

Page Updated: Thursday 21 March 2019
Contact page owner: Communicable Diseases