Tourist sparks interstate measles alert

Backpackers and XPT train passengers are being urged to be alert for measles symptoms after an infected traveller visited Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

The unvaccinated man, an international tourist aged in his 30s, is believed to have been infected while staying at Nomads All Stations Backpacker Hostel in Melbourne, where another traveller with measles had also stayed.
The man then travelled to Sydney on March 31 and stayed at a hostel at Potts Point, in Sydney’s east, for about four days before taking the XPT train to Brisbane. The man became unwell while in Sydney, and was diagnosed after arriving in Brisbane.
He was infectious while at the following locations in Sydney:
2 April
  • Chiliblue Backpacker’s Hostel, 144 Victoria Street Potts Point, 2 April – 6 April
  • Shops in the vicinity of King’s Cross Station
3 April
  • Sydney Opera House during the morning
  • Paddy’s Market, 9-13 Hay Street, Sydney, during the afternoon
4 April
  • Coles King’s Cross, 88-94 Darlinghurst Rd, between 4pm and 5:30pm
5 April
  • Darling Harbour between 5:00pm and 6:30pm
  • 301 bus from Town Hall to Pott’s Point, around 6:15 pm
6 April
  • Train departing King’s Cross Station 6:44 am to Central Station
  • Central Station subways between platforms 25 and the Grand Concourse, between 6:55 and 7:25am
  • Central’s Intercity platforms and Grand Concourse, including food and beverage shops, between 6:55 am and 7:40am
  • Train swapped to bus service in Casino, NSW, leaving Casino Station at 7:10pm. Coach service 175.
  • XPT service from Central to Brisbane, including food and beverage car, departing at 7:10am, arriving Roma Station at 8:45pm
Queensland Health is following up with people who were potentially exposed to the man after he arrived in Brisbane.
The man is the 34th person to be infectious with measles in NSW since last Christmas and is currently being treated in hospital in Brisbane.
NSW Health’s Acting Director of Communicable Diseases Sean Tobin said none of the Sydney locations visited by the man pose an ongoing risk. However, people who may be susceptible to measles and were at the same locations at the same time as the man should contact their local public health unit for advice on 1300 066 055.
They are urged to be alert for signs of measles until 24 April, as it can take up to 18 days for symptoms to appear following exposure to an infected person.
“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 Tobin said.
“Anyone who develops symptoms of measles should phone their GP to ensure they don’t wait alongside other patients before seeing their doctor.”
Dr Tobin said preventive injections can be given to highly-susceptible people up to six days after exposure to measles.
“The measles-mumps-rubella vaccine is safe and effective protection against measles,” he 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.”
Measles is highly contagious and is spread in the air through coughing or sneezing by someone who is unwell with the disease.
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% of five year olds vaccinated against measles.
For more information on measles visit:
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