Measles alert following another locally acquired case

NSW Health is urgingpeople to ensure they are fully protected against measles, following anotherlocally acquired case being reported. The man, whose vaccination history isunable to be verified, is the seventh person to have acquired the infection inNSW since Christmas.

Dr ChristineSelvey, NSW Health Acting Director of Communicable Diseases, said “it isimportant for anyone born after 1965 to make sure they have received two dosesof measles vaccine, as two doses provides the best protection against measles.People who are unsure of their vaccination history can safely receive anotherdose.”

“People usuallycatch measles during overseas travel, however the number of recent cases withexposures in and around Sydney means many people may have been exposed locallyand could be developing symptoms now or over the coming days and weeks”.

“Symptoms of measlesinclude fever, cough, runny nose and sore red eyes, followed 3 to 4 days laterby a red spotty rash which starts on the head and spreads to the rest of thebody. Anyone experiencing these symptoms should seek medical attention, butcall ahead to your doctor or emergency department so that your exposure toothers can be limited on arrival.”

People in thefollowing locations at the following times may have been exposed to this mostrecent case and should be particularly alert for signs and symptoms of measlesuntil 27 January, as it can take up to 18 days for symptoms to develop.

Sunday 5 January:

  • WoolworthsMatraville, 497-501 Bunnerong Rd Matraville, between 9:30am and 10:15am

Monday 6January to Thursday 9 January:

  • CentralAuto Care, 1/347 Princes Highway St Peters, between 7:15am and 5:00pm

Wednesday 8January:

  • ERMcNamara Smash Repairs, 375-355 Princess Highway Sydenham, in the morning
  • HungryJack’s St Peters, 400 Princes Highway St Peters, between 12:00m and 2:00pm

Thursday 9January:

  • ERMcNamara Smash Repairs, 375-355 Princes Highway Sydenham, in the morning

These locationspose no ongoing threat to the public.

Measles vaccinemay help prevent measles in unvaccinated people if given within 72 hours of anexposure to a measles case, and another treatment (immunoglobulin) can be givenfor unvaccinated people at higher risk of measles complications up to 6 daysafter exposure.

People at highrisk of measles complications include:

  • Childrenfrom 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

Unvaccinatedpeople who attended the same locations on the same day and at the same time asthis case should contact their local public health unit on 1300 066 055 foradvice.

Measles is a highlyinfectious, vaccine preventable disease that is spread through the air whensomeone who is infectious with the disease coughs or sneezes.

Anyone bornduring or after 1966 needs to ensure that they have received two measles shots.

“Measles is oneof the most contagious diseases for humans but two doses ofmeasles-mumps-rubella vaccine provide lifelong protection against measles in 99out of 100 vaccinated people,” Dr Selvey said.

NSW Healthmakes the measles vaccine available free anyone born during or after 1966 whodoesn’t​​ have two documented doses of measles vaccine.

“If you’reunsure whether you’ve been vaccinated against measles in the past, it’s safe tohave another dose.”

The NSWGovernment is investing $130 million in the 2019-20 Immunisation Programbudget, including Commonwealth and state vaccines.

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