Australia – NSW – Measles alert

NSW Health is warning people to be alert for signs and symptoms of measles, after three infectious cases have been notified in the Christmas-New Year period.

Measles is a highly infectious viral illness which begins with a cough, fever, sore, red eyes and runny nose, followed three to four days later by a red spotty rash which begins on the face and neck and spreads to the rest of the body.

People who are experiencing signs and symptoms of measles should seek medical attention. NSW Health recommends calling ahead to the practice or emergency department to alert of them of your symptoms, so that measures can be taken to limit your exposure to others upon your arrival.

Symptoms usually begin to appear around 10 days after exposure to an infectious case, however the time from exposure to onset can be as long as 18 days.

Update 3 January 2019

A child visiting from overseas developed measles symptoms while visiting NSW on Christmas Eve. Prior to being diagnosed with measles and isolated the child visited the several locations. People who were at these locations at the same time as the child may be at risk of developing measles up to January 18:

DateLocation
Thursday 27 DecemberChatswood Medical and Dental Centre, 7 – 8pm
Thursday 27 DecemberChatswood Mall, including Chemist Warehouse, late afternoon
Friday 28 DecemberOakvale Winery, Pokolbin, 5 – 6pm
Saturday 29 DecemberDinner at Bimbadgen Winery, Pokolbin, 6:30 – 8pm
Sunday 30 DecemberChatswood Medical and Dental Centre, 3-4pm
Monday 31 December- New Year’s DayRoyal North Shore Emergency Department, 11pm – 1am

Australia – ACT – Update on measles in the ACT

The individual is in isolation at the Canberra Hospital and in line with the national guidelines, Health Protection Service staff are currently contacting people who have been in contact with the person.

Dr Kelly said this was the first case of measles to be notified in the ACT in 2019.

“We believe the individual is likely to have acquired the infection from the measles case reported in the ACT in mid-December,” Dr Kelly said.

“As the person did not attend any public venues or events in the ACT whilst infectious, we are advising the community that there is minimal risk of exposure to the general public.

“Contacts with the individual have been able to be identified and ACT Health staff are following-up with these people directly.

“As the individual travelled in NSW between Christmas and the New Year, we are working closely with NSW Health, who are also providing information to their local communities,” Dr Kelly said.

As Measles can be highly contagious among people who are not fully immunised, ACT Health is taking the opportunity to reiterate important health advice on measles and to know the symptoms. These include a fever, tiredness, cough, runny nose and sore eyes, followed up by a rash.

Anyone with symptoms of measles should seek medical advice, advising their health care provider before they arrive so that appropriate infection control precautions can be put in place to stop the spread of the infection.

People generally develop symptoms 7-18 days after being exposed to a person with infectious measles, with 10 days being more common. People are infectious from 4 days before they develop a rash until 4 days after.

The virus is spread from an infectious person during coughing and sneezing or through direct contact with secretions from the nose or mouth.

Whenever a case of measles is identified in our community, it is a strong reminder that the best way to protect yourself and your family against measles is vaccination.

Two doses of Measles Mumps Rubella vaccine (MMR) are required for immunity against measles and are given to children in Australia at 12 and 18 months of age. However, the vaccine can be given at any age after 9 months.

With many travelling over the holiday period in the next few weeks, we are encouraging people to check their immunisation status and get up to date if needed before travelling.

For further information about measles, visit the ACT Health website.