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Measles alert after case diagnosed in Nepean Blue Mountains region

05 Sep 2019

 

A second case of measles has been reported in the Nepean Blue Mountains region. A woman had contact with a known case who recently returned from New Zealand.

The woman, who was partially vaccinated, visited a number of locations in and around Penrith, Lawson and Springwood while infectious:


Sunday 01 September

Maldini’s restaurant and the Eastbank precinct,                        1:00pm – 3:00pm

Nepean River restaurants, Penrith                                              

Tench Reserve, Nepean River, Penrith                                      3:00pm – 4:00pm

Monday 02 September

Our Lady of the Nativity Primary School, Lawson                     9:00am and 3:00pm

Nepean Medical Imaging, Springwood                                      3:30pm – 4:00pm

 

Dr Sheena Kakar, from the Nepean Blue Mountains Local Health District Public Health Unit, said anyone who was in these locations on those dates may have been exposed to the measles virus.

None of the locations visited by the woman pose an ongoing risk.

It can take up to 18 days for symptoms to appear following exposure to a person with measles. People in the same places at the same time as the woman should be alert for signs and symptoms of measles until 19 September 2019.

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.

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 very important you stay home from work or school, don’t visit others or unnecessarily travel to minimise the spread of the infection,” says Dr Kakar.

Two doses of measles vaccine provides lifelong protection in 99 out of 100 people who are vaccinated.

“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,” says Dr Kakar.

Measles is highly contagious and is spread in the air through coughing or sneezing by someone who is unwell with the disease.

While the risk of infection is low in fully-vaccinated people, health experts urge anyone who comes into contact with someone who has measles to remain alert for symptoms.

If symptoms develop they should limit their exposure to others and seek medical care.

The NSW Government is investing $130 million in the 2019-20 Immunisation Program budget, including Commonwealth and state vaccines.

For more information on measles visit:

https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/measles/Pages/key-facts.aspx