Public urged to be aware of measles symptoms
04 Dec 2015
Western Sydney Local Health District (WSLHD) is advising the public to be alert to measles symptoms after an adult was diagnosed with the highly infectious disease in western Sydney this week.
The patient, who recently returned from Singapore, spent time in retail outlets in Parramatta, Wentworthville, Rouse Hill and Kings Langley on Thursday 26 and 27 November while infectious.
The patient also attended two medical centres in Castle Hill and Carlingford between 28 to 30 November, Blacktown Hospital’s emergency department on Monday 30 November and caught local buses around Castle Hill.
Dr Stephen Corbett, WSLHD Director of the Centre for Population Health has advised parents of infants or other people who aren’t fully immunised against measles to be on the lookout for symptoms.
“Measles is highly infectious and is spread through coughing and sneezing,” Dr Corbett said.
“Symptoms can include fever, tiredness, runny nose, cough and sore red eyes which usually last for several days before a red, blotchy rash appears.
“Complications can range from an ear infection to pneumonia or swelling of the brain.
“The time from exposure to the onset of symptoms is typically around 10 days but can be as long as 18 days, so we are urging people to mindful of any symptoms so that we can minimise the spread.
“If symptoms develop please phone ahead when seeking medical attention to ensure you do not share the waiting area with other patients,” Dr Corbett said.
“People who have not had two doses of measles vaccine may be at risk. If you are not fully immunised, please talk to your GP about measles vaccination.”
Children should receive two doses of vaccine, one at 12 months and the second at 18 months of age. Children over 18 months who have not had their second dose of measles vaccine can be vaccinated now. Anyone born after 1965 should have two doses of vaccine (at least 4 weeks apart).
NSW Health offers free MMR (Measles-Mumps-Rubella) vaccine through GPs for people born after 1965 with no records of having received two doses of MMR vaccine.
For a range of health information, go online to www.health.nsw.gov.au