Illawarra Newsroom

ILLAWARRA: Measles Alert

 

measles.jpg 

NSW Health is advising people to be alert for symptoms of measles after an Illawarra man diagnosed with the disease visited a number of locations in the Northern Illawarra while infectious.

The man in his thirties, who has an uncertain vaccination history, had returned from travel to Thailand and was not connected to any other cases from NSW.

Curtis Gregory, Illawarra Shoalhaven Director of Public Health, said this is the first measles case in the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District for 2019 and only the second confirmed case in the last four years.

“It is a good reminder for everyone to check that they are protected against measles, especially if they are travelling overseas.” Mr Gregory said.

“Measles is highly contagious and anyone born during or after 1966 should ensure they have had two doses of the Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR) vaccine, which provides lifelong protection in 99 out of 100 vaccinated people.

“Symptoms to watch out for include fever, sore eyes and a cough followed three or four days later by a red, blotchy rash that spreads from the head to the rest of the body.”

The man spent time in the following locations while infectious:

Sunday 10 November

  • Lapstone Hotel, 15 Great Western Hwy, Blaxland, 11am to 6pm

Tuesday 12 November

  • Office Works, cnr Lysaght St & Princes Hwy Fairy Meadow, 12pm to 3pm
  • Professional Car Wash & Café, 10-12 Flinders St, Wollongong, 12pm to 3pm
  • Woonona Petfood & Produce, 47 Bellambi Ln, Bellambi, 12pm to 3pm
  • Plus Fitness, 398 Lawrence Hargrave Dr, Thirroul, 1pm to 4pm
  • Austinmer Newsagency, 102 Lawrence Hargrave Dr, Austinmer, 10:30am to 12pm

Wednesday 13 November

  • Plus Fitness, 398 Lawrence Hargrave Dr, Thirroul, 10am to 12pm
  • Austinmer Newsagency, 102 Lawrence Hargrave Dr, Austinmer, 10:30am to 12pm

Thursday 14 November

  • Thirroul Medical Practice, 1 King St, Thirroul, 10am to 11am

Friday 15 November

  • Thirroul Medical Practice, 1 King St, Thirroul, 10am to 10:30am and 4pm to 4:30pm
  • Blazzes Hair & Tanning, Thirroul Plaza 10/282-298 Lawrence Hargrave Dr, Thirroul, 12pm to 1pm
  • Thirroul Plaza, 282 Lawrence Hargrave Dr, Thirroul, 12:30pm to 2pm
  • Plus Fitness, 398 Lawrence Hargrave Dr, Thirroul, 1pm to 3pm
  • Bunnings Warehouse, Cnr Bellambi Ln & Watts Ln, Belambi, 2pm to 4pm
  • Woolworths, 5-9 Molloy St, Bulli, after 2pm to 4pm
  • Bulli Pharmacy, Bulli Shopping Centre, Shop 4/273 Princes Hwy, Bulli, 2pm to 5pm
  • Headlands Hotel, Headland Ave & Yurunga St, Austinmer, 6pm to 12 midnight

Local public health unit staff are identifying people who have been in close contact with the case and arranging preventive treatment if required.

Mr Gregory said people who had been in the same locations at the same times as the man should be alert for signs and symptoms of measles until 3 December, 2019.

Picture: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Morbillivirus_measles_infection.jpg

“It can take up to 18 days for symptoms to appear following exposure to a person with measles. Anyone who develops symptoms should arrange to see their GP and call ahead to ensure they don’t wait alongside other patients,” Mr Gregory said.

Measles is a preventable disease that is spread through the air when someone who is infectious with the disease coughs or sneezes.

NSW Health makes the measles vaccine available free for anyone born during or after 1966 who doesn’t have two documented doses of measles vaccine.

“If you’re unsure whether you’ve been vaccinated against measles in the past, it’s safe to have a dose,” Mr Gregory said.