MEASLES ALERT: Health warning issued for North Coast
THE Northern NSW Local Health District is urging people to look out for measles symptoms after a person from Queensland visited Mullumbimby while infectious.
People who visited the following areas on these dates may have been exposed:
- Saturday, November 2 in the afternoon: Mullumbimby IGA
- Sunday, November 3, about 1.30pm: Liberty Petrol Station, Mullumbimby.
Acting Director of North Coast Public Health Unit, Greg Bell said the locations do not pose an ongoing risk, but anyone who was in these areas at the same time as the infected person should watch for measles symptoms until November 21.
"It can take up to 18 days for symptoms to appear following exposure to a person with measles," Mr Bell said.
"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.
"Anyone who develops symptoms of measles should arrange to see their GP and limit their exposure to others, including patients at the GP clinic."
Mr Bell encouraged everyone in the Mullumbimby area to ensure they had received two doses of the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine, which provides lifelong protection in 99 out of 100 people who are vaccinated.
"The measles-mumps-rubella vaccine is safe and effective protection against measles," Mr Bell said.
"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 spreads through the air when someone who is infectious with the disease coughs or sneezes.
While the risk of infection is low in fully-vaccinated people, health experts urge anyone who comes into contact with a person with measles to watch for symptoms.
The NSW Government is investing $130 million in the 2019-20 Immunisation Program budget, including Commonwealth and state vaccines.