NSW Health Measles Alert

NSW Health is warning the public to be aware of the measles following a contagious passenger travelling on a international flight to Sydney. 

The passenger boarded on Virgin Australia Airlines flight VA 70 from Denpasar, Bali to Sydney, arriving at 7:40 am on 1 January. She visited the Sutherland Hospital Emergency Department in the late morning of 4 January while contagious and the hospital is contacting people who may have been exposed during this visit.

Dr Sean Tobin, Acting Director, Communicable Diseases Branch, NSW Health, said fellow travellers and other people who may have been in contact with this case should be alert to the symptoms of measles in the coming days and weeks.

Measles is a viral infection. Symptoms 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. The best protection against measles is vaccination. 

“Measles is highly contagious and is spread through coughing and sneezing. For young children, the measles vaccine is recommended at 12 months and again at 18 months of age. Two doses of the vaccine are required for lifelong protection,” Dr Tobin said.

Overseas travellers should ensure that they are vaccinated against measles as measles outbreaks are happening in many places around the world. 

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