For the first time since the March-April outbreak, officials with New South Wales Health (NSW Health) have issued a measles alert  in the Sydney CBD and Leichhardt  after confirming an imported case in an infected tourist.

This was a patient who presented with Koplik’s spots on palate due to pre-eruptive measles on day 3 of the illness./CDC
This was a patient who presented with Koplik’s spots on palate due to pre-eruptive measles on day 3 of the illness./CDC

The young adult international traveler probably caught the infection in their home country and first developed symptoms in Melbourne on July 15. They then traveled to Sydney and visited many tourist highlights before being diagnosed with measles and isolated.

The traveller visited the Queen Victoria Building, the Pitt Street shopping district, Circular Quay, Central station and Leichhardt.

Specific exposure sites include:

  • Flight from Melbourne (VA841, 11.30am from Tullamarine Airport) July 15
  • ‘Madang Korean BBQ’ restaurant on Pitt St for dinner on July 15
  • ‘Pancakes On The Rocks’ restaurant in the Rocks for lunch on July 16
  • ‘Hokka Hokka’ restaurant at Westfield Sydney for dinner on July 16
  • ‘Café Gioia’ in Leichhardt for lunch on July 18
  • ‘Yu Xiang Hot Pot’ restaurant on Hay St for dinner on July 18
  • Train from Town Hall to Green Square before lunch on July 19
  • ‘The Grounds of Alexandria’ restaurant in Alexandria for lunch on July 19
  • ‘Abb Air Thai Restaurant’ on Goulburn St Sydney on July 19
  • Leichhardt Medical and Dental Centre on July 18 & 19

Measles remains common in many parts of the world, hence it is vital that all children and adults receive two doses of measles vaccine to protect them from this highly infectious virus.

Dr Vicky Sheppeard, Director Communicable Diseases NSW Health, said Sydney residents and visitors to Sydney during this period should be mindful of measles symptoms, particularly if they have not been vaccinated and have spent time in the places visited by the infected traveler.

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“Symptoms to watch 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.”

Dr Sheppeard said it was important to be vaccinated against measles, not only to protect yourself but to protect others through “herd immunity”.

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“Measles is highly infectious and is spread through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes. If you or a family member experience symptoms we recommend you see your GP, but call ahead to make arrangements to be seen without risking exposing others to the infection.”

A highly effective measles vaccine, MMR, is free in NSW for adults up to 51 years of age and children. Two doses of the measles vaccine are required for maximum protection. It is safe to have the vaccine more than twice, so people who are unsure should be vaccinated.

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