Health officials in New South Wales, Australia (NSW Health) are reporting the diagnosis of measles in two infants too young to be vaccinated, who probably acquired the infection from recent cases in Sydney.
An 8 month old infant, likely caught the infection in the Haymarket area near World Square. The infant spent time at the following locations while infectious:
- Yass Korean BBQ Buffet, 1/39 The Boulevarde, Strathfield on Tuesday 26 March, between 6:30pm and 10:00pm;
- Time Brasserie (restaurant/café), Shop 11, Level 1 Time Plaza Hurstville 127-137 Forest Rd Hurstville on Wednesday 27 March between 4:00pm and 5:30pm; and
- St George Hospital Emergency Department, 28a Gray St Kogarah on Saturday 30 March between 7:30pm and 11:00pm.
- Eastwood Plaza 152-160 Rowe St Eastwood, including play areas near Woolworths and on the first floor on Saturday 23 and Sunday 24 of March;
- Castle Mall, 4-16 Terminus Street, Castle Hill, including play area on the Lower Ground floor on Tuesday 26 and Friday 29 March;
- The North Village 10-12 Hezlett Rd Kellyville on Wednesday 27, Friday 29 and Saturday 30 March; and
- North Village Family Practice, Shop S3 the North Village Kellyville, on Wednesday 27 at 12-1.15pm, Friday 29 5.30-6.30pm and Saturday 30 March 9 to 12pm.
People in the same locations at the same times as the infants who may be susceptible to measles such as: children under the age of 12 months, people with a weakened immune system (e.g. from cancer therapy or high dose steroid use) and those who do not have evidence of having received two doses of measles containing vaccine or past measles 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.
“If you develop symptoms, please call ahead to your GP to ensure you do not wait in the waiting room with other patients,” NSW Health Director of Communicable Diseases, Dr Vicky Sheppeard said.
Cases of measles in infants such as these highlight the importance of ensuring that all people able to be vaccinated have received two doses of measles vaccine.
Maintaining high rates of measles immunization within the community reduces the risk of measles being imported into Australia by returned travelers and, through herd immunity, reduces the spread of the virus locally if it is introduced.
“Herd immunity provides protection to those unable to be vaccinated such as infants and people with weakened immune systems,” Dr Sheppeard said.
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