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New measles alert after tourist visits Sydney while infectious

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Passengers on two Sydney domestic flights and people in various locations in Sydney are advised to be alert for signs and symptoms of measles, after a man aged in his forties was diagnosed with the infection in Queensland following a four day trip to Sydney.

The man is believed to have been infectious on two flights:

  • 29 June 2019 – Tiger Airways flight TT609 from Gold Coast Airport to Sydney Airport Terminal 2, arriving at 11.25am
  • 2 July 2019 – Jetstar flight JQ420 from Sydney Airport Terminal 2 to the Gold Coast departing at 10.20am.

While in NSW, the man spent time in the following places while infectious:

Saturday 29 June 2019

  • Train from Domestic Airport to Circular Quay, departing 12:15pm
  • Café Rossini, Circular Quay, between 3:00pm and 4:00pm
  • Ferry from Circular Quay to Manly, departing 4:00pm
  • Blue Water Café, 28 South Steyne, Manly, around 4:30pm
  • Ferry from Manly to Circular Quay, departing 6:00pm

Monday 1 July 2019

  • Bus 599 to Berowra station, around 9:30am
  • Train from Berowra to Wynyard Station departing 9:50am
  • The Rocks Discovery Museum, Kendall Lane, The Rocks, between 11:00am and 12:00pm
  • The Australian Hotel, 100 Cumberland St, The Rocks at lunchtime.
  • Starbuck’s at Hyde Park (Pacific Power Building) at 3:00pm
  • McDonald’s at Circular Quay at 5:00pm
  • Train from City Circle to Berowra Station departing 6:20pm
  • Bus 599 from Berowra Station around 7:20pm

Tuesday 2 July 2019

  • Train from Central Station to Domestic Airport departing 6:25am.

Queensland Health is following up potential exposures after the man’s arrival to the Gold Coast. The man is believed to have acquired the measles infection in Thailand.

NSW Health Director of Communicable Diseases Dr Vicky Sheppeard said none of the locations visited by the man pose an ongoing risk.

It can take up to 18 days for symptoms to appear following exposure to a person with measles. People in the same places at the same time as the man should be alert for signs and symptoms of measles until 20 July 2019.

“Symptoms to watch out for include fever, sore eyes and a cough followed three or four days later by a red, blotchy rash that spreads from the head to the rest of the body,” Dr Sheppeard said.

“Anyone who develops symptoms of measles should phone their GP to ensure they don’t wait alongside other patients before seeing their doctor.

“The measles-mumps-rubella vaccine is safe and effective protection against measles,” she said.

Two doses of measles vaccine provides lifelong protection in 99 out of 100 people who are vaccinated.

“It’s free for anyone born during or after 1966 who hasn’t already had two doses. If you’re unsure whether you’ve had two doses, it’s safe to have another.”

Measles is highly contagious and is spread in the air through coughing or sneezing by someone who is unwell with the disease.

While the risk of infection is low in fully-vaccinated people, health experts urge anyone who comes into contact with someone who has measles to remain alert for symptoms.

If symptoms develop they should limit their exposure to others and seek medical care.

Protecting children from potentially deadly diseases is a key priority for the NSW Government, which has invested approximately $130 million in the 2019-20 Immunisation Program budget, including Commonwealth and state vaccines.

The latest Annual Immunisation Coverage Report shows vaccination rates in NSW are at their highest level ever, with more than 95% of five year olds vaccinated against measles.

Source: NSW Government

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