Information for NSW General Practitioners.
- Four cases of measles have been detected in Sydney in the past two weeks.
- More cases could present in the coming weeks.
- Isolate suspected cases immediately and call the public health unit.
Measles in NSW
- Four cases of measles have been reported in Sydney in the past two weeks.
- Whilst infectious, the cases spent time in:
- Hostels in Cairns and Magnetic Island
- Flights from Cairns to Sydney: Virgin Airlines on 28 March and Tiger Airlines on 29 March.
- Royal North Shore Hospital Emergency Department on 29 March
- A flight from Delhi, India arriving in Sydney on 30 March
- Mount Druitt Emergency Department
- A medical centre in Blacktown on 2 April.
- Be aware that those who are too young to be vaccinated (<12 months), and those who have not received two doses of measles containing vaccine are at risk of infection.
- Be alert to travellers who may have been exposed in youth hostels – this population is likely highly mobile. However, suspect measles in people with fever and rash irrespective of travel history.
How does measles present?
- Two to four days of prodromal illness with fever, cough, coryza, and conjunctivitis.
- While febrile a maculo-papular rash then typically begins on the face and neck and becomes generalised.
- Measles cases are infectious from the day before the prodrome illness to 4 days after the onset of rash.
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. The earlier a PHU knows about a suspected case the more effective containment interventions can be.
- Test – Collect a nose and throat specimen, and a first pass urine sample for nucleic acid testing and blood for measles serology. Your PHU can assist in expediting testing, if indicated.
- Continue to display travel posters and measles posters and be on the look out for new imports following holiday travel:
Advocate for immunisation
- The best way for people to protect themselves and others is to get vaccinated.
- Remember to vaccinate children at 12 and 18 months of age.
- Discuss vaccination with your patients â€“ opportunistic vaccination is important, overseas travel is an opportunity to encourage vaccination.
- Health care workers are at increased risk â€“ ensure that you and your staff are vaccinated.
- Measles containing vaccines (MMR) are safe and available free in NSW for those born during or after 1966 who have not previously had two documented doses.
- Contact your local public health unit on 1300 066 055.
- NSW Measles control guidelines: