October 3, 2017

Northern Sydney Local Health District (NSLHD) today issued a measles alert following confirmation of a case on the Northern Beaches.

NSLHD's public health director Michael Staff said the person most likely contracted the illness whilst recently visiting Melbourne.

"Victorian health authorities report there have been 11 cases of measles diagnosed in Melbourne in the past two weeks, with infectious people visiting a number of locations including the central business district, the MCG and Melbourne Airport," Dr Staff said. 

"It's very important to prevent further spread of this serious illness."

Dr Staff said the person diagnosed over the weekend had, whilst infectious, been to:

  • Warringah Mall from 12.30pm to 4pm on Saturday September 23
  • Borders Skateboard, Brookvale, from 10am to 11am on Sunday September 24
  • Decked Out Games, Brookvale, from 11am to 12 noon on Sunday September 24
  • Skate parks at Miller Reserve, Cromer, and St Matthews Farm, Manly Vale, from 3.30pm to 5pm on Sunday September 24
  • Riverside Theatre at Parramatta between 10am and 1pm on Tuesday September 26.

Dr Staff said anyone who had been at those locations should be aware of the symptoms of measles and seek medical attention if they become unwell.

Measles is highly infectious. Symptoms include fever, sore eyes and a cough followed a few days later by a non-itchy rash, when the fever is still present. The rash starts on the face, spreads down the body and lasts four to seven days. Measles can have serious complications, particularly for young children or people with weakened immune systems.
Older infants, children, and adults born after 1966 who do not have records of receiving two doses of MMR vaccine, or evidence of previous measles infection, are susceptible to measles.

Measles vaccine is free in NSW for anyone aged from one to 51 years. Anyone 18 months of age and over without two documented doses of measles vaccine should visit their GP to request a free shot. People should be vaccinated if there is doubt about whether they have had the vaccine in the past as it is safe to receive additional doses.

"The measles virus is highly contagious and is spread through the air by someone who is unwell with the disease," Dr Staff said. 

"People with measles symptoms should stay home from school or work and not go out in public. 

"We recommend medical attention be sought, but if you or your child shows these symptoms you should call the doctor's surgery before you go in so they can make arrangements to see you without the risk of you spreading the virus to other people," Dr Staff said.

For more information visit: http://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/factsheets/Pages/measles_factsheet.aspx