Health authorities have urged the public to be on alert for measles symptoms after two children and a young woman contracted the highly infectious disease and spent time in western Sydney.
The two children, a boy and a girl, and woman in her twenties had not been vaccinated against the measles, and were infectious while visiting several public places in Auburn and Chester Hill between March 16 and 23, NSW Health advised on Friday.
They visited: NAS Medical Centre, Auburn, on March 19 and 22Cheso Medical Centre, Chester Hill, on March 20Rawson Street Medical Centre, Auburn, on March 21Auburn Hospital Emergency Department on March 23
The latest three confirmed cases bring the total number of measles infections in NSW to 11 for 2017, eight of which were acquired overseas.
It is likely the two children and woman contracted the disease from another recently reported case, but this has not been confirmed, NSW Health said.
The most recent case in Sydney involved an infectious person who travelled from Bangkok to Sydney on March 2.
“Measles is highly contagious and is spread in the air through coughing or sneezing by someone who is unwell with the disease,” Dr Shopna Bag, Manager of Communicable Diseases at Western Sydney Public Health Unit.
Symptoms of measles 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 Bag said people with measles symptoms should seek medical advice as soon as possible, stay home from work or school, and limit other activities to avoid exposing other vulnerable people, such as infants, to the infection.
“Please call ahead to your doctor or emergency department so that arrangements can be made to keep you away from others to minimise the risk of spreading the infection,” she said.
Over the past five years, NSW Health said the number of people bringing measles into the state from outside the country had varied between two and 28 cases a year. The total number of reported cases of measles in NSW has ranged between nine and 174.
“Due to high immunisation rates and effective public health action the disease has been eliminated from Australia with limited onward spread from cases occurring in connection with importations,” Dr Vicky Sheppeard, director of communicable diseases for NSW Health said earlier this month.
The disease is no longer seasonal in Australia, NSW Health said.
Dr Bag said the latest cases yet again reinforced the importance of getting vaccinated to protect against the disease.
“Those people who have not received two doses of measles vaccine are at particular risk of contracting the disease and should be alert to symptoms.”
NSW Health said anyone born during or since 1966 should have two doses of vaccine at least four weeks apart. For young children, the vaccine is recommended at 12 months and 18 months of age.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.