Measles alert: NSW Health urges awareness after Sydney case
NSW Health is urging people who have been in the Sydney CBD and Leichhardt from 15-19 July to be aware of the symptoms of measles after an infected tourist visited these areas.
The young adult international traveller probably caught the infection in their home country and first developed symptoms in Melbourne on July 15. They then travelled to Sydney and visited many tourist highlights before being diagnosed with measles and isolated.
The traveller visited the Queen Victoria Building, the Pitt Street shopping district, Circular Quay, Central station and Leichhardt. Specific exposure sites include:
- Flight from Melbourne (VA841, 11.30am from Tullamarine Airport) 15 July
- ‘Madang Korean BBQ’ restaurant on Pitt St for dinner on 15 July
- ‘Pancakes On The Rocks’ restaurant in the Rocks for lunch on 16 July
- ‘Hokka Hokka’ restaurant at Westfield Sydney for dinner on 16 July
- ‘Café Gioia’ in Leichhardt for lunch on 18 July
- ‘Yu Xiang Hot Pot’ restaurant on Hay St for dinner on 18 July
- Train from Town Hall to Green Square before lunch on 19 July
- ‘The Grounds of Alexandria’ restaurant in Alexandria for lunch on 19 July
- ‘Abb Air Thai Restaurant’ on Goulburn St Sydney on 19 July
- Leichhardt Medical and Dental Centre on 18 & 19 July
This is the first case of measles in NSW since an outbreak in March was triggered by a returning traveller from Bali.
Measles remains common in many parts of the world, hence it is vital that all children and adults receive two doses of measles vaccine to protect them from this highly infectious virus.
Dr Vicky Sheppeard, Director Communicable Diseases NSW Health, said Sydney residents and visitors to Sydney during this period should be mindful of measles symptoms, particularly if they have not been vaccinated and have spent time in the places visited by the infected traveller.
"Symptoms to watch 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 it was important to be vaccinated against measles, not only to protect yourself but to protect others through "herd immunity".
"Measles is highly infectious and is spread through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes. If you or a family member experience symptoms we recommend you see your GP, but call ahead to make arrangements to be seen without risking exposing others to the infection."
A highly effective measles vaccine, MMR, is free in NSW for adults up to 51 years of age and children. Two doses of the measles vaccine are required for maximum protection. It is safe to have the vaccine more than twice, so people who are unsure should be vaccinated.
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