NSW is urging all NSW residents to ensure they are fully protected against measles, after the seventh and eighth case of measles in the state since Christmas. People between the ages of 1 and 52 are eligible for free measles vaccine, if they do not have documented evidence of having received two doses in the past. For those unsure of how many doses they have had, it is safe to receive more than two.
Ensuring you are protected against measles is particularly important for those planning travel, as the majority of measles cases in NSW are caught overseas.
This comes as NSW Health issues yet another warning for people to be alert for the signs and symptoms of measles following the notification of the infection in two unvaccinated siblings recently returned from Sri Lanka.
Passengers on Singapore Airlines Flight SQ221 from Singapore to Sydney, which arrived at Sydney International Airport at 7:40 am on Friday 11 January, and people in the International airport during Friday morning are urged to be on the lookout for symptoms until 29 January, as the time from exposure to onset of symptoms can be up to 18 days (usually around 10 days).
Potential exposure sites and times for the seven cases from January 2019 are provided below. Those for the December 2018 case are available on the December 2018 alerts page.
Measles is a highly infectious viral illness which begins with a cough, fever, sore, red eyes, and runny nose, followed three to four days later by a red spotty rash which begins on the face and neck and spreads to the rest of the body.
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.
Singapore Airlines Flight SQ 221 , Sydney International Airport (including train station), Ryde Hospital, Carlingford Epping Surgery General Practice, two Douglass Hanly Moir Pathology Centres, 10-14 January
Two unvaccinated siblings have been diagnosed with measles, following a trip to Sri Lanka. The children from Northern Sydney developed symptoms during a scheduled stopover in Singapore, but a diagnosis was not made until they returned to Sydney. The children visited a number of locations while infectious, including a medical centre and Emergency Department. Patients attending these locations at the same time as the children are being contacted directly and offered preventive therapy where relevant.
People on the same flight as the children, and those in the International Airport on the morning of Friday 11 January; including those who were in the International Airport Train Station, may be at risk of developing measles until 29 January.
|Thursday 10 - Friday 11 January
||Singapore Airlines Flight SQ 221 departing Singapore 8:40pm, arriving Sydney International Airport Friday 11 January 7:40am|
|Friday 11 January
Sydney International Airport, including baggage carousels, customs, and arrivals area, Friday morning
Sydney International Airport Train Station, train to Meadowbank (via Central station), arriving Meadowbank at 9:30 am
|Sunday 13 January
||Ryde Hospital Emergency Department, Denistone Road, Eastwood, 7:40am-9:10am|
|Monday 14 January
Carlingford Epping Surgery General Practice, 5 Lloyds Avenue, Carlingford, 9:30am-10:30am
Douglass Hanly Moir Pathology, 5 Lloyds Avenue Carlingford, 10:30 am - 11:00am
Douglass Hanly Moir Pathology, 27 Rembrandt Street Carlingford 10:50am - 11:20am
Qantas flight QF20, Sydney International Airport, Leichardt Medical and Dental Centre, 11-12 January 2019
A Sydney man has developed measles infection after returning from the Philippines. The man is his 20s, was isolated quickly when presenting to his doctor's surgery, as measles was highly suspected. Patients in the practice at the same time as the man have been contacted directly and offered preventive treatment where appropriate. Those on the same flight as the man, and people in the International Airport on Friday morning may be at risk of developing measles until 29 January.
|Friday 11 January
Qantas Flight QF20, departing Manilla and arriving Sydney International Airport at 6:30am
International Airport, including luggage carousels, Customs, and arrivals area Friday morning
|Saturday 12 January
||Leichardt Medical and Dental Centre, 30/32-38 Short Street, Leichardt, 10:45 am -11:15 am|
Darling Harbour, Town Hall, Newtown and Marrickville
4-10 January 2019
A Sydney man who was a close contact of the case reported on 3 January has developed measles nine days after his first exposure to the disease.
The man spent time in a number of locations around Sydney CBD and the Inner West while infectious. People who spent time in the same locations as the man may be at risk of developing measles up until 26 January 2019.
|Friday 4 January - Saturday 5 January
||Bungalow 8, King Street Wharf, 7pm Friday to 3am Saturday|
|Saturday 5 January
Train from Newtown Station to Town Hall, arriving Town Hall approximately 7pm
Albion Place Hotel, 531 George Street Sydney, 7pm -11:15pm
Bus from Town Hall (Castlereagh St) to King Street Newtown, departing Town Hall 11:30pm
|Monday 7 January
||Anytime Fitness Newtown, 93 King Street Newtown, 5pm - 7pm|
|Tuesday 8 January
||Anytime Fitness Newtown, 93 King Street Newtown, 5pm - 6pm |
|Wednesday 9 January
Marrickville Metro Shopping Centre and Marrickville Metro Medical Centre, 34 Victoria Rd Marrickville, 1:30pm-2:30pm
Service NSW Marrickville, 9/34 Victoria Rd Marrickville, 1:45pm-2pm
Riverside Precinct Woodburn, John Hunter Hospital
A teenager from Queensland has developed measles symptoms while visiting NSW. The teenager is believed to have acquired their infection during a recent trip to Myanmar. People who were at the following locations at the same time as the teenager may be at risk of developing measles until 24 January 2019:
5-6 January 2019
|Saturday 5 January
||Riverside Precinct Woodburn, early-mid afternoon|
|Sunday 6 January
||John Hunter Hospital Emergency Department, 2pm-9pm|
Chatswood, Pokolbin, Royal North Shore Hospital
27-31 December 2018
A child visiting from overseas developed measles symptoms while visiting NSW on Christmas Eve. Prior to being diagnosed with measles and isolated the child visited several locations. People who were at these locations at the same time as the child may be at risk of developing measles up to 18 January 2019:
Thursday 27 December
Chatswood Medical and Dental Centre, 7pm – 8pm
Thursday 27 December
Chatswood Mall, including Chemist Warehouse, late afternoon
Friday 28 December
Oakvale Winery, Pokolbin, 5pm – 6pm
Saturday 29 December
Dinner at Bimbadgen Winery, Pokolbin, 6:30pm – 8pm
Sunday 30 December
Chatswood Medical and Dental Centre, 3pm-4pm
Monday 31 December - Tuesday 1 January
(New Year’s Day)
Royal North Shore Hospital Emergency Department, St Leonards, 11pm Monday – 1am Tuesday
Thornleigh, Umina Beach, Woy Woy
26-30 December 2018
An ACT resident who probably acquired measles from a recently returned overseas traveller who was unknowingly infectious while visiting NSW from 26-30 December. People who were at the following locations at the same time as the visitor may be at risk of developing measles up to 17 January 2019:
Wednesday 26 December
McDonalds restaurant at Thornleigh, 12:30pm – 1pm
Wednesday 26 – Sunday 30 December
Several visits to Deepwater Plaza at Woy Woy and Umina Beach Shopping Centre
Sunday 30 December
Jasmine Café, Umina Beach 9am – 10:30am
Measles is highly contagious and is spread in the air through coughing or sneezing by someone who is unwell with the disease.
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 people. Most people born before 1966 are assumed to be immune to measles.
In Australia measles containing vaccine is given to children at 12 months of age as measles mumps rubella (MMR) and 18 months of age as measles mumps rubella varicella (MMRV).
Anyone in NSW, born after 1966, who has not received two doses of measles containing vaccine can visit their GP for free MMR vaccine. People born between 1966 and 1994 should not assume they have received two doses of vaccine as changes to the vaccination schedule over time mean they may have only received one dose. People who are unsure of whether they have had two doses can safely receive another dose.
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. While measles is rare in Australia, it remains endemic in many countries including most of southern and south east Asia, and large outbreaks are currently occurring in Europe, the United States, and parts of South America.
People travelling with children under the age of 12 months should discuss travel plans with their doctor, as the first dose of the vaccine can be given as early as 9 months of age, if the child is travelling to an area where measles is endemic, or outbreaks are occurring.
For more information see the measles webpage.