The man was unknowingly
susceptible to measles and developed symptoms around a week after returning to
Sydney. He has now recovered and is no longer infectious.
The man was in the following
locations while infectious:
Dr Vicky Sheppeard, Director
Communicable Diseases NSW Health, said anyone who was in these locations at the
same time should watch for symptoms.
“The time from exposure to the
disease to the onset of symptoms is typically about 10 days but can be as long
as 18 days so people should be alert to symptoms until January 14,” Dr
Measles symptoms 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 Sheppeard said infants under
12 months of age who are too young to be vaccinated and young adults are most
likely to be susceptible to measles.
“People in the 20-40 year age
bracket may have missed out on the full vaccination program for measles and
mistakenly believe they are protected against the disease.
“The measles-mumps-rubella (MMR)
vaccine is safe and highly effective protection against measles, and I urge
anyone travelling to South East Asia to see their GP for a free shot if they
are not fully protected.
“If you are unsure whether you
have had two doses, it is quite safe to have another dose before you travel.”
Protecting children from
potentially deadly diseases is a key priority for the NSW Government, which has
invested approximately $120 million in the 2018-19 Immunisation Program budget,
including Commonwealth and state vaccines.
The latest Annual Immunisation
Coverage Report shows vaccination rates in NSW are at their highest level ever,
with more than 94 per cent of five year olds vaccinated against measles.
NSW children at one and five
years of age have some of the highest measles vaccine uptake in Australia,
boosted by programs including the:
Measles is highly contagious and
is spread in the air through coughing or sneezing by someone who is unwell with
Dr Sheppeard said it was
important for people to see the GP if they have symptoms, and limit exposure to
others until the GP has made a diagnosis.
“If you develop symptoms please
call ahead to your GP so that you do not wait in the waiting room with other
patients,” Dr Sheppeard said.
“Medical and public health staff
are contacting people known to have been in contact with this latest case to
offer preventive injections, where appropriate.
“Vaccination is your best
protection against this extremely contagious disease.” For more information on
measles, visit: http://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/factsheets/Pages/Measles_Factsheet.aspx