The following information is from Health Protection NSW – view PDF here
- Measles continues to be imported by travellers from many countries, including New Zealand.
- Some recent cases have had no history of travel or contact with known cases.
- Consider measles in returning travellers with fever, and in anyone with fever and a maculopapular rash.
- IMMEDIATELY isolate suspected measles cases and call your public health unit on 1300 066 055.
Measles in NSW
• There have been 52 measles cases notified so far this year compared to just 19 cases last year.
• Most cases have been in adults aged 20-44 years, including some who had been vaccinated.
• Some recent cases have had no history of overseas travel or links to known ca se s.
• Maintain a high index of suspicion for measles in returning travellers with fever, and in anyone with fever and maculopapular rash.
How does measles present?
• A 2-4 day prodromal illness with fever, cough, coryza, and conjunctivitis.
• A maculopapular rash then typically begins on the face and neck and becomes generalised.
• Measles in previously vaccinated people may present atypically, with milder symptoms and a slower progression to the rash.
• Cases are infectious from the day before the prodrome to four days after the rash onset.
How to manage suspected cases
• Isolate – arrange to see suspected cases in their homes or at the end of the day.
• Notify – inform your public health unit (PHU) immediately – don’t wait for test results before calling.
• Test – collect a nose and throat swab, and a first pass urine sample for nucleic acid testing (PCR) and blood for measles serology (IgM and IgG).
• Mark the tests requested as URGENT. Your PHU can assist in expediting testing.
Advocate for immunisation
• Discuss vaccination with your patients – consultations prior to overseas travel are opportunities to encourage measles vaccination for any patients with uncertain vaccination histories.
• Children aged from 6 months to under 12 months can have an MMR vaccination early if travelling overseas (they will still need doses at 12 and 18 months of age).
• Measles containing vaccines (MMR) are free in NSW for those born during or after 1966 who have not previously had two documented doses.
• Health care workers are at increased risk – ensure that you and your staff are vaccinated.
• Measles travel posters and other resources for your clinic are available from the NSW Health measles page: www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/measles
• Contact your local public health unit on 1300 066 055