NSW Health has confirmed that a tourist visiting Sydney has been diagnosed with measles.
Measles is a highly contagious disease. This is the first case of the illness in NSW since an outbreak in April was caused by a traveller who contracted it in Bali.
The sick tourist visited multiple locations in Sydney. Given the highly contagious nature of the disease NSW Health have released a list of places of possible exposure.
Have you been exposed?
The infected tourist moved through out Sydney visiting many locations including the Queen Victoria Building, the Pitt Street shopping district, Circular Quay, Central station and Leichhardt. As these were extended outings and broad locations specific times are not provided.
Specific exposure sites however are named as:
- Flight from Melbourne (VA841, 11.30am from Tullamarine Airport) July 15
- ‘Madang Korean BBQ’ restaurant on Pitt St for dinner on July 15
- ‘Pancakes On The Rocks’ restaurant in the Rocks for lunch on July 16
- ‘Hokka Hokka’ restaurant at Westfield Sydney for dinner on July 16
- ‘Café Gioia’ in Leichhardt for lunch on July 18
- ‘Yu Xiang Hot Pot’ restaurant on Hay St for dinner on July 18
- Train from Town Hall to Green Square before lunch on July 19
- ‘The Grounds of Alexandria’ restaurant in Alexandria for lunch on July 19
- ‘Abb Air Thai Restaurant’ on Goulburn St Sydney on July 19
- Leichhardt Medical and Dental Centre on July 18 & 19
If you believe you may have been exposed no immediate action is required however vigilance is necessary.
Dr Vicky Sheppeard, Director Communicable Diseases NSW Health, said Sydney residents should be aware of the disease’s symptoms and seek medical advice immediately if they believe they could be infected.
“Symptoms to watch 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.”
“Measles is highly infectious and is spread through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes. If you or a family member experience symptoms we recommend you see your GP, but call ahead to make arrangements to be seen without risking exposing others to the infection.”
What is measles?
- Measles is a viral disease that may have serious complications.
- In the past, measles infection was very common in childhood. Measles is now rare in NSW because of immunisation but many areas of the world continue to experience outbreaks. In 2008 there were 164,000 deaths worldwide due to measles.
What are the symptoms of measles?
- The first symptoms are fever, tiredness, cough, runny nose, sore red eyes and feeling unwell. A few days later a rash appears. The rash starts on the face, spreads down to the body and lasts for 4-7 days. The rash is not itchy.
- Up to a third of people with measles have complications. These include ear infections, diarrhoea and pneumonia, and may require hospitalisation. About one in every 1000 people with measles develops encephalitis (swelling of the brain).
How are measles spread?
- Measles is usually spread when a person breathes in the measles virus that has been coughed or sneezed into the air by an infectious person. Measles is one of the most easily spread of all human infections. Just being in the same room as someone with measles can result in infection.
- People with measles are usually infectious from just before the symptoms begin until four days after the rash appears. The time from exposure to becoming sick is usually about 10 days. The rash usually appears around 14 days after exposure.
For more information you can find the NSW Health Measles Fact Sheet here.
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