04 January 2020

NSW Health is advising people to be alert for symptoms of measles as there are now five people diagnosed with measles who hadn’t travelled outside Sydney. People should also make sure that they are fully vaccinated for measles.

Three of the five people with measles were diagnosed yesterday, Friday 3 January. One is a Queensland resident who is now back in Queensland, but who was in Sydney at the time that they would have been infected.  

All five people first developed symptoms between Christmas and New Year’s Day and there may be other people infected with measles who haven’t yet seen a doctor or been tested. 

Dr Christine Selvey, NSW Health Acting Director of Communicable Diseases said, “It’s important that all people with measles are diagnosed with a test, so that public health measures can be taken to prevent further spread of this serious disease.”

“Early symptoms of measles include a fever, sore red eyes, runny nose and a cough. Three or four days later, the characteristic red, blotchy rash appears; this starts on the face and neck and then spreads to the chest and the rest of the body.”

Anyone who develops symptoms should arrange to see their GP and call ahead to ensure that the GP surgery can take precautions to prevent spread to other people in the surgery. 

“Measles is entirely preventable by immunisation”, Dr Selvey said. 

“The measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine is safe and highly effective, with two doses providing lifelong protection in 99 out of 100 people who are vaccinated. Anyone born during or after 1966 should ensure that they have received two measles vaccines. If you’re unsure whether you’ve been vaccinated against measles in the past, it’s safe to have another dose.” 

The two most recent cases were infectious from 26 December 2019.  The following locations and were visited by a person while infectious with measles.  There is no ongoing threat to the public at these locations, but people who may have been exposed measles by being in the same place at the same time are at risk of developing measles until 20 January, as it can take up to 18 days for symptoms to develop following exposure to measles. 

Unvaccinated people who attended the same locations on the same day and at the same time as this case should contact their local public health unit on 1300 066 055 for advice.

Locations

Thursday 26 December 2019

  • Little Bay Beach, 4R Coast Hospital Road, Little Bay, 4pm – 6.30pm

Friday 27 December 2019

  • Hyde Park, Elizabeth St, Sydney, 6.45am – 7.30am, 9 – 9.45am
  • St Mary’s Cathedral forecourt, St Mary’s Rd, Sydney, 7am – 9.30am
  • Westfield Sydney Central Plaza Food Court, 5050 Pitt St, Sydney, 9am - 10.50am
  • South eastern pylon of Sydney Harbour Bridge (near Walsh Bay), 11am – midnight

Saturday 28 December 2019

  • Maroubra Medical and Dental Centre, 806/812 Anzac Parade, Maroubra, 4.04pm – 7pm
  • Your Chemist Shop, 806-812 Anzac Parade, Maroubra, 6.30pm – 7.10pm
  • The Greener Grocer, 14/832 Anzac Parade, Maroubra, 6.40pm – 7.20pm
  • Circus Royale, Carysfield Park, Bass Hill, 7pm - 10pm 

Sunday 29 December 2019

  • Glenquarie Anglican Church, 32 Edgar St, Macquarie Fields, 10am – 12pm
  • Bankstown RSL, 1 Meredith St, Bankstown,  6pm – 8pm

Monday 30 December 2019

  • Malabar Post Office, Shop 1/1220 Anzac Pde., Malabar, 11.50am – 12.30pm and 1.45pm – 2.25pm

Tuesday 31 December 2019

  • Hyde Park, Elizabeth St, Sydney, 6.45am – 7.30am

Wednesday 1 January 2020

  • Maroubra Medical and Dental Centre, 806/812 Anzac Parade, Maroubra, 9.53am – 11am
  • Your Chemist Shop, 806-812 Anzac Parade Maroubra, 10.35am – 11.10am
  • Coles Maroubra Junction, Pacific Square, 737 Anzac Parade, Maroubra, 10.50am – 11.50am

Thursday 2 January 2020

  • Maroubra Medical and Dental Centre, 806/812 Anzac Parade, Maroubra, 9am – 10am
  • Your Chemist Shop, 806-812 Anzac Parade, Maroubra, 9.30am – 10.05am

Public transport

Friday 27 December 2019

  • Bus 399 (Malabar to Hyde Park) departing 6am

Tuesday 31 December 2019

  • Bus 399 (Malabar to Hyde Park) departing 6am

Measles vaccine may help prevent measles in unvaccinated people if given within 72 hours of an exposure to a measles case, and another treatment (immunoglobulin) can be given for unvaccinated people at higher risk of measles complications up to 6 days after exposure.

People at high risk of measles complications include:

  • Children from birth to 11 months (who are too young for routine measles vaccination)
  • pregnant women who haven’t had a measles vaccination
  • people with a weakened immune system due to illness or treatment

Measles is a highly infectious vaccine preventable disease that is spread through the air when someone who is infectious coughs or sneezes.

NSW Health makes the measles vaccine available free for anyone born during or after 1966 who doesn’t have two documented doses of measles vaccine.

The NSW Government is investing $130 million in the 2019-20 Immunisation Program budget, including Commonwealth and state vaccines.

For information about the other two recent case of measles, please see: 

For more information on measles visit: health.nsw.gov.au/measles