03 May 2019
Two new cases of measles have been reported in Western NSW, both with links to a recent measles case in Dubbo imported from New Zealand.  This brings the total number of cases in NSW to 40 since Christmas last year.

Both of the new cases were in young men who were unsure if they had been vaccinated against measles in the past. They had visited a number of locations in Dubbo, Walgett, Parkes and Wagga Wagga while infectious:

  • Dubbo Base Hospital Emergency Department on Monday 29 April between 12:20pm and 3:15pm
  • Woodham petrol station, Walgett on Friday 26 April (in the afternoon) and Monday 29 April (in the morning)
  • Subway Orana Mall, Dubbo, at dinnertime on Friday 26 April
  • Cattleman’s Motel, Whylandra Street, Dubbo overnight on Friday 26 April and Sunday 28 April
  • BP petrol station, Forbes Rd, Parkes on Saturday 27 April at lunchtime
  • Burringa Motel, Plumpton Rd, Wagga Wagga overnight on Saturday 27 April
  • Wagga Wagga Boat Club, Plumpton Rd, Wagga Wagga on Saturday 27 April between 6:00pm and midnight.
  • McDonald’s restaurant, Fay Ave, Kooringal (Wagga Wagga) on Sunday 28 April in the morning
  • Holy Spirit Aged Care, Tony McGrane Place, Dubbo on Sunday 28 April between 4:30pm and 5:30pm

NSW Health Director of Communicable Diseases Vicky Sheppeard said none of the locations visited by the men pose an ongoing risk.

However, people who may be susceptible to measles and were at the same locations at the same time as the men should be alert for signs and symptoms of measles until 18 May 2019, as it can take up to 18 days for symptoms to appear following exposure to a person with measles.

“Symptoms to watch out for include fever, sore eyes and a cough followed three or four days later by a red, spotty rash that spreads from the head to the rest of the body,” Dr Sheppeard said.

Measles is highly contagious and is spread in the air through coughing or sneezing by someone who is unwell with the disease.

“Anyone who develops symptoms of measles should phone their GP to ensure they don’t wait alongside other patients before seeing their doctor.”

“People born before 1966 are likely to have had measles as a child and are considered immune. For people born during or after 1966, the best protection against measles is receiving two doses of measles vaccine.”

“The measles-mumps-rubella vaccine is safe and provides effective protection against measles,” she said.

“It’s free for anyone born during or after 1966 who hasn’t already had two doses. If you’re unsure whether you’ve had two doses, it’s safe to have another.”

While the risk of infection is low in fully-vaccinated people, health experts urge anyone who comes into contact with someone who has measles to remain alert for symptoms.

Protecting children from potentially deadly diseases is a key priority for the NSW Government, which has invested approximately $130 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 95 per cent of five year olds vaccinated against measles.

For more information on measles visit: https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/measles/Pages/key-facts.aspx