Parents are being urged to be on the lookout for signs and symptoms of measles after an infant with the infection spent time at a hospital, medical centre and shopping centre.
NSW Health says the Western Sydney infant spent time in Parramatta and Westmead on Monday, 27 March while infectious. It can take up to 18 days after exposure for symptoms to appear.
The baby, who is too young to be vaccinated against measles, caught the infection while in India before returning to Sydney.
The exposure sites are:
- The Children’s Hospital at Westmead emergency department waiting room between 12pm and 9:30pm on Monday 27 March.
- Argyle Street Medical Centre at Parramatta between 9:15am and 10:00am on Monday 27 March.
- Westfield Parramatta between 9:00am and 10:00am on Monday 27 March.
NSW Health said these locations don’t pose any ongoing risk but urged people who may be susceptible to measles to get vaccinated.
Anyone born in or after 1966 who has not received two doses of measles vaccine should get a measles vaccine by Thursday 30 March to prevent the infection. Additionally, people who were at these locations at these times need to be alert for the symptoms of measles until 14 April 2023.
“Measles is a highly contagious infection, and the most vulnerable are infants under 12 months, who are too young to be vaccinated against it, other members of the community who are not fully vaccinated and people with a weakened immune system,” said Dr Christine Selvey, Director of Communicable Diseases, NSW Health.
“It can take up to 18 days for symptoms to appear after an exposure, so it is really important to stay vigilant if you’ve been in the above locations and if you develop symptoms, please call ahead to your GP to ensure you do not spend time in the waiting room with other patients,” Dr Selvey said.
Measles Signs And Symptoms
Measles symptoms include fever, severe cough, conjunctivitis and a rash that usually starts on the face. The initial symptoms may be similar to those of Covid and the flu. Measles is highly infectious and can stay in the environment for up to two hours.
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 measles vaccination
- people with a weakened immune system due to illness or treatment.