Measles alert: Seventh person to have acquired the infection in NSW since Christmas

13 January 2020

 

NSW Health is urging people to ensure they are fully protected against measles, following another locally acquired case being reported. The man, whose vaccination history is unable to be verified, is the seventh person to have acquired the infection in NSW since Christmas.

A number of recent cases with exposures in and around Sydney means many people may have been exposed locally and could be developing symptoms now or over the coming days and weeks.

Current cases of measles and details of potential exposure sites and times can be found at the NSW Health website: Measles health alerts – current.

People in the same locations at the same times as this case may have been exposed to this most recent case and should be particularly alert for signs and symptoms of measles until 27 January, as it can take up to 18 days for symptoms to develop. 

Measles vaccine may help prevent measles in unvaccinated people if given within 72 hours of an exposure to a measles case, and another treatment (immunoglobulin) can be given for unvaccinated people at higher risk of measles complications up to six days after exposure.

People at high risk of measles complications include:

  • Children from birth to 11 months (who are too young for routine measles vaccination)
  • pregnant women who haven’t had a measles vaccination
  • people with a weakened immune system due to illness or treatment

Measles is extremely infectious, and anyone born during or after 1966 needs to ensure that they have received two doses of measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine. MMR vaccine is safe and highly effective, with two doses providing lifelong protection in 99 out of 100 people who are vaccinated. MMR vaccine is provided free in NSW for any unvaccinated individuals.

Further information