MEASLES ALERT: Newcastle Case Prompts Urgent Health Warning

Watch out for the symptoms..

Newcastle Newsroom

8 January 2019

Newcastle Newsroom

Article heading image for MEASLES ALERT: Newcastle Case Prompts Urgent Health Warning

Authorities have issued an urgent measles alert following a case that turned up in Newcastle.

A teenager, who was incompletely vaccinated against the highly contagious disease, became infected following a trip to Myanmar in South East Asia.

They drove here from Brisbane on January 5.

The teen visited the John Hunter Hospital Emergency Department waiting room on the afternoon/evening of last Sunday (January 6).

“The time from exposure to the disease to the onset of symptoms is typically about 10 days but can be as long as 3 weeks so people should be alert to symptoms until the end of January,” public health physician Doctor David Durrheim said.

Measles 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.

“People in the 20-40 year age bracket may have missed out on the full vaccination program for measles and mistakenly believe they are protected against the disease," Dr Durrhiem said.

“I urge travellers returning from Asia, Africa or Europe to be aware of the risk of measles, and isolate themselves from others if they develop a fever. Please call ahead to your GP so that you do not wait in the waiting room with other patients,” he said.

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

“Medical and public health staff are contacting people known to have been in contact with this latest case to offer preventive injections, where appropriate.

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