Both new cases
occurred in adults aged between 20-55 years and both were acquired in Sydney.
Selvey, NSW Health Acting Director of Communicable Diseases, said these cases
show why it is important for anyone born after 1965 to make sure they have had
two measles shots.
“We know many
adults in this age group have only had one dose of measles vaccine. Anyone
unsure of their vaccination history should see their GP for another dose, which
is free of charge.
with measles in Australia picked up their infection during overseas travel. However
the number of recent cases in and around Sydney means people may have been
exposed locally and could be developing symptoms now or over the coming days
and weeks,” Dr Selvey said.
measles include fever, cough, runny nose and sore red eyes, followed 3 to 4
days later by a red spotty rash which starts on the head and spreads to the
rest of the body.
experiencing these symptoms should seek medical attention, and should call their
doctor or emergency department before attending so that spread of measles to
others in the waiting room can be prevented,” Dr Selvey said.
People in the
following location during the listed time should be particularly alert for
signs and symptoms of measles until 31 January, as it can take up to 18 days for
symptoms to develop.
poses no ongoing threat.
people who attended the location 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.
treatment (immunoglobulin) can be given to unvaccinated people at higher risk
of measles complications up to six days after exposure.
People at high
risk of measles complications include:
Measles is a highly
infectious, vaccine-preventable disease that is spread through the air when
someone who is infectious with the disease coughs or sneezes.
“Measles is one
of the most contagious diseases for humans but two doses of
measles-mumps-rubella vaccine provide lifelong protection against measles in 99
out of 100 vaccinated people,” Dr Selvey said.
unsure whether you’ve been vaccinated against measles in the past, it’s safe to
have another dose.”
makes the measles vaccine available free anyone born during or after 1966 who
doesn’t have two documented doses of measles vaccine.
Government is investing $130 million in the 2019-20 Immunisation Program
budget, including Commonwealth and state vaccines.
information visit health.nsw.gov.au/measles