Measles alert in Bankstown

Story appeared in: Torch | March 23rd, 2018

HEALTH authorities have issued a warning about measles to visitors to the Bankstown and Sydney CBDs after an infant who contracted the disease while overseas visited both areas.
The child, who is now isolated and recovering at home, was too young to be vaccinated and developed measles after returning from a trip to south Asia.
While infections the child visited the following locations while infectious:
• The train from Bankstown Station to St James Station on Friday, March 16, between 8am and 9.30am and returned from St James Station to Bankstown Station between 1.30pm and 3.30pm.
• The Wesley Conference Centre, 220 Pitt St Sydney on Friday, March 16, from 9am until 1pm.
• Rickard Road Medical Centre, 41 Rickard Road, Bankstown on Saturday, March 17, between 5pm and 7.30pm.
• Rickard Road Chemist 41 Rickard Road, Bankstown on Saturday, March 17, between 6.45pm and 7.30pm.
• Bankstown Emergency Department on Wednesday, March 21, from 10am to Thursday, March 22, 1am.
Measles is highly contagious and is spread in the air through coughing or sneezing by someone who is unwell with the disease.
The time from exposure to the onset of symptoms is typically about 10 days but can be as long as 18 days so people should remain alert for symptoms until April 9, 2018.
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.
NSW Health director communicable diseases Dr Vicky Sheppeard said those most likely to be susceptible to measles are infants under 12 months of age who are too young to be vaccinated and young adults.
 "People in the 20-40 year age bracket may have missed out on the full vaccination program for measles, which was changed in 1998, including a national school-based catch-up, and mistakenly believe they are protected against the disease," she said.
"The measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine is safe and highly effective protection against measles, and is available for free for those aged 1 to 52 from your GP.  If you are unsure whether you have had two doses, it is quite safe to have another dose."
Dr Sheppeard said it was important for people to watch for symptoms, arrange to see the GP if concerned, and limit exposure to others until the GP has made a diagnosis.
"Our public health units are contacting people known to have been in contact with this latest case to offer preventive injections, where appropriate," she said.
"Vaccination is your best protection against this extremely contagious disease."
For more information on measles, visit:

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Publication: Torch | Section: news | Author: Kim Palmer | Story ID: 135903 | Viewcount: 5298