Out and about with measles

People infected with measles have visited a Sydney Chemist Warehouse and a Perth TerryWhite Chemmart

The South Eastern Sydney Local Health District has issued an alert after a new case of measles was confirmed on Sunday.

A Sydney woman spent time in parts of Bondi Junction, Rose Bay and Double Bay while infectious, including over the Australia Day long weekend.

On 31 January, she attended the Chemist Warehouse at Rose Bay, between 12pm and 12.30pm, as well as a Bondi Beach doctor’s surgery between 10.50am and 12.30pm that day.

She had also been on flights to and from Uluru from Sydney on Monday 27 January.

South Eastern Sydney Deputy Director of Public Health, Dr Vicky Sheppeard, said none of the locations visited by the woman pose an ongoing risk.

The public health is contacting people in those locations where possible to determine if they need preventive injections.

“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,” Dr Sheppeard said.

“Anyone who develops symptoms of measles should phone their GP to ensure they don’t wait alongside other patients before seeing their doctor.”

Late last week Western Australia’s Department of Health also issued a measles alert.

The Health Department’s Acting Director of Communicable Disease Control, Dr Clare Huppatz, said people without measles immunity needed to be vigilant for the onset of symptoms if they visited locations including the Terry White Chemmart at Nedlands on Tuesday 28 January, between 3pm and 3.45pm.

She had also been to coffee shops, supermarkets and the Sir Charles Gardiner Hospital in the preceding week.

Dr Huppartz encouraged Western Australians born from 1966 onwards to consider a booster, as people aged in their 30s and older may have only received a single dose of the MMR, which was recommended at the time they were children.

In Queensland, authorities have confirmed three cases in 2020, and last month the state government sourced an order of more than 80,000 doses of the measles vaccine to help combat the problem.

“We’ve just emerged from our worst year for measles since 1997 and there are still cases being recorded,” said state Health Minister Steven Miles.

“To protect Queenslanders, the Chief Health Officer has looked across the globe to source as many vaccines as possible.

“We now have a stockpile of vaccines to protect Queenslanders.”

Measles is eliminated from Australia, but remains common in some countries popular with overseas travellers. All travellers are urged to check they are fully vaccinated before they leave Australia to reduce the risk of catching measles while overseas.

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