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Urgent warning as measles spreads

Measles outbreak worsens in NSW, as second child reports infection. Picture: iStock
Measles outbreak worsens in NSW, as second child reports infection. Picture: iStock

A seven-month-old baby who recently returned from the Middle East is the second case of measles reported in NSW in the last week.

The infant was too young to be vaccinated and was not considered to be infectious on the flight into Sydney.

People who attended Chouchou BeBe Adventure Playground at Auburn Central Mall Food Court, next to Aldi supermarket, between 1pm and 3.30pm on January 11.

A seven-month-old baby has become infected with the measles. Picture: Supplied
A seven-month-old baby has become infected with the measles. Picture: Supplied

NSW Health are renewing calls for people to stay alert for symptoms after two children returning from overseas have reported coming down with the highly-infectious illness.

This includes fever, sore eyes and a cough, usually followed three or four days later by a red, blotchy rash that spreads from the head to the rest of the body

Health Minister Ryan Park said it can take up to 18 days for symptoms to appear after an exposure, so it’s important for people to stay vigilant if they’ve been exposed.

child arm skin with rash over white
Symptoms include fever, sore eyes and a cough. Picture: Supplied

“If you develop symptoms, please call ahead to your GP or emergency department to ensure you do not spend time in the waiting room with other patients,” he said.

“This should be a reminder for everyone to check that they are protected against measles, which is very infectious.”

The measles vaccine can prevent disease after exposure if administered early enough and is free for anyone born during or after 1966 who hasn’t had two doses already.

It is available for children at 12 months of age.

Anyone who has not had two doses of the vaccine is urged to do so. Picture: iStock
Anyone who has not had two doses of the vaccine is urged to do so. Picture: iStock

Anyone born after this dose needs to ensure they have received two doses of measles vaccine, particularly if they plan to travel overseas due to a number of outbreaks in the Middle East and Asia.

Children under the age of 12 months can receive their first dose of the vaccine up to three months earlier if they are travelling to areas considered high risk for measles following consultation with their GP.

People who are unsure of whether they have had two doses should get a vaccine, as additional doses are safe.