Alerts have been raised for parents in two states after an infant and child were diagnosed with a highly contagious disease
- SA and NSW Health issue measles alerts
- Two new cases have been recorded in Australia
- Measles infection rates have increased in recent years
Parents in two states have been issued an urgent health alert after an infant and child were diagnosed with highly contagious measles.
NSW Health issued an alert after a child was diagnosed with measles after returning to western Sydney from India, while South Australia recorded its first case in more than three years after a three-year-old returned from overseas with the infection.
Measles cases have risen in certain parts of the world due to poor vaccination rates in recent years.
In western Sydney, the emergency department waiting room at Children’s Hospital Westmead, Argyle Street Medical Center in Parramatta and Westfield Parramatta have been identified as areas of concern.
NSW Health has advised anyone who visited those sites on 27 March, when a child was present, to consider getting vaccinated against measles if they are not already protected.
Health authorities have issued an urgent health alert after an infant and child were diagnosed with highly contagious measles in New South Wales and South Australia.
NSW Health website and time alerts
• Children’s Hospital Westmead Emergency Department waiting room between 12pm and 9:30pm on Monday, 27 March.
• Argyle Street Medical Centre, Parramatta between 9.15am and 10.00am on Mondays. March 27th.
• Westfield Parramatta between 9:00 am and 10:00 am on Monday 27 March.
NSW Health Director of Infectious Diseases Christine Selvey said young children were most at risk from the disease.
“Measles is a highly contagious infection, and those most at risk are children under 12 months of age, who are too young to be vaccinated against it, other community members who are not fully vaccinated and people with weakened immune systems,” said Dr. Selvi. .
“Measles is spread easily through the air through coughing or sneezing by someone who has the disease.”
Symptoms include sore eyes, runny nose, cough and fever and could appear in an infected person anytime between now and April 14.
Three to four days after initial symptoms are recorded, patients may develop a red, blotchy rash that begins on the head or neck and spreads down the body.
Anyone born after 1965 is urged to consider receiving two doses of the measles vaccine if they have not been vaccinated.
Meanwhile, in South Australia, the three-year-old attended the emergency department at Women’s and Children’s Hospital in Adelaide on Thursday as well as sites in Murray Bridge on the previous days.
Measles cases have risen dramatically in certain parts of the world due to poor vaccination rates in recent years. Symptoms include eye inflammation, runny nose, cough, and fever
Dr. Louise Flood, director of the state’s infectious disease branch, urged people who travel abroad to check their vaccination records.
“Immunization provides the best protection against measles and it is essential that everyone make sure they have two doses of the measles vaccine to protect themselves and the community,” Dr. Flood said in a press release from SA Health on Saturday.
“We encourage people who intend to travel abroad, to check their vaccination records, and to request the vaccine well in advance of travel, if there is no record of them having received two doses, and they were born in Australia after or during 1966,” he said.
SA Health website and time alerts
• Murray Bridge Swimming Center on Friday 17th March between 4pm and 6pm
• Murray Bridge Hospital Emergency Department waiting area on Wednesday 22nd March between 9:30am and 1pm and on Thursday 23rd March between 9am and 9.45am
• The Bridge Clinic in Murray Bridge on Thursday 23rd March between 9:30am and 11.15am
• Women and Children’s Hospital Emergency Department waiting area on Thursday, March 23 between 12:00 and 12:45