Health Alert: Measles confirmed in Richmond
19 Sep 2018
The Nepean Blue Mountains Local Health District is warning people in Richmond to watch for measles symptoms after a second adult in the District developed the infection.
The adult, who was not vaccinated, spent time at the Spendless Shoes at Richmond Marketplace shopping centre on Monday 17 September from 8.30am to 2.00pm while infectious.
Dr Sheena Kakar from the Nepean Blue Mountains Local Health District Public Health Unit says anyone who visited Spendless Shoes during this time who hasn’t previously received two doses of the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine, especially pregnant women, young children, and immunocompromised people, should contact the Public Health Unit on 1300 066 055 for advice.
A dose of MMR within three days of exposure to measles is highly effective in preventing measles developing. "Measles is highly contagious and can be spread by coughing or sneezing by someone who is infected,” says Dr Kakar.
“This is our second measles case to be confirmed in the District in the past week.
“The first case was an adult in Lithgow, also unvaccinated, who contracted the disease while overseas. This second patient developed measles after spending time with the patient from Lithgow.
“The MMR vaccine is safe and highly effective protection against measles and is available for free for those aged one to 52 from your GP. If you are unsure whether you have had two doses, it is quite safe to have another dose.”
Measles symptoms 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.
The time from exposure to the onset of symptoms is typically about 10 days but can be as long as 18 days, so people should be particularly alert to symptoms until mid-October.
Dr Kakar says people with measles symptoms should see their GP but be sure to call ahead, so they can limit exposure to others in the surgery.
“If you have measles symptoms, it’s also important to stay home from work or school to minimise the spread of the infection,” she says.
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.
More information on measles.