Health

HEALTH WARNING: Measles outbreak has spread to NSW – this is how to keep your family safe

This is how you can spot the signs and why it's so important to act fast upon identifying them.
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The infectious disease that is measles once infected hundreds of thousands of Australian kids. Thankfully, in 2014 it was declared eliminated in Australia.

However, every so often, a new case of the measles is brought in from overseas, prompting state health departments to issue warnings for people to be aware of measles symptoms.

Just three weeks ago, Now To Love reported that three cases of measles had been detected in Victoria (two adults: a man and a woman, and a baby boy.)

That number has since escalated to 11 reported cases in Victoria.

However, worryingly, 7 News are warning those living in New South Wales that the virus has spread from Melbourne to Sydney.

Authorities are now on high alert with two people in the Sydney area being diagnosed with measles. That takes the measles count in New South Wales up to 25 in 2017 alone.

As reported by the ABC that the man in Victoria infected had returned from Romania where this outbreak of measles is believed to have originated.

A warning had been issued amid fears there might be many more exposed to the deadly virus.

Authorities have listed specific dates and places where the infectious patients had visited while unaware they had measles, in an effort to alert Austtralians, along with travellers, who may have been in the same places to look out for signs and symptoms.

“We are really trying to track down people who would be emerging now with symptoms, both from [the first] two cases who travelled extensively around Melbourne,” said Deputy Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton.

“But also with the third case we need to chase up the passenger list on the flight because they were infectious on arrival in Melbourne.”

“[Measles is] not exclusive to developing countries and we should be aware of the seriousness.”

Dr Sutton said people who were in the following areas may be at risk of developing measles:

  • IKEA Richmond on September 6–13 between 11:00am-1:30pm

  • Chadstone Shopping Centre on September 7–9 between 12:00pm-3:00pm, and 10:00am–1:00pm

  • Federation University, Ballarat on September 8

  • Frankston train line on September 11 and 12, and at Armadale station and Southern Cross station during peak hour

As for the New South Wales outbreak, which the Northern Sydney Local Health District and South Eastern Sydney Local Health District have both raised alerts for, this is where those diagnosed had been before falling ill:

  • Warringah, Brookvale and Parramatta in late September

  • Cronulla Mall on September 25

  • The Royal Hotel on September 26

  • Sutherland Hospital on September 29 and October 1

Concerning, measles have an incubation period of between seven to 18 days, meaning symptoms take a while to show up.

Signs and symptoms of the measles

The most distinctive symptom of the measles is a rash which often starts on the face and spreads to the rest of the body. Other symptoms of the measles can resemble those of the common cold.

  • fever

  • general discomfort, illness or lack of wellbeing (malaise)

  • runny nose

  • dry cough

  • sore and red eyes (conjunctivitis)

  • red and bluish spots inside the mouth (Koplik’s spots)

  • red and blotchy skin rash that appears first on the face and hairline, and then spreads to the body.

If you, or someone you know, is showing symptoms, seek medical assistance immediately.

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