Measles outbreak 2017: Four things to know about the spread of measles in New South Wales

By @JanSSS8 on
Measles vaccine - RTXYAKA
Kieran Elford, aged 13, is given an MMR injection by a qualified school nurse at the Paediatric Outpatients department at Morriston Hospital in Swansea, south Wales April 6, 2013. Following an increase in the number of confirmed cases of a measles in south Wales, parents in the area were urged to vaccinate their children, and hospitals in the region opened drop-in clinics on Saturday, local media reported. REUTERS/Rebecca Naden

The measles outbreak in Western Sydney has worsened, with the number of cases reaching 22 in 2017, according to the New South Wales (NSW) Health. The latest case of measles infection involves a man who spent some time in the Blue Mountains, Leichhardt and Strathfield and contracted the virus in Quakers Hill before visiting a hospital on Good Friday, April 14. Read on to learn more about the NSW measles outbreak 2017.

Four things to know about the spread of measles in New South Wales:

1. There are 16 locally acquired cases related to the measles outbreak in Western Sydney.

According to Dr Vicky Sheppeard, Director Communicable Diseases, NSW Health, the current case of measles is the 16th locally acquired case related to the outbreak of measles in Western Sydney. "This brings us to 22 cases of measles in NSW residents with onset in 2017," NSW Health's official website reports Sheppeard as saying.

2. The latest measles case was exposed to a previous case of the virus in Quakers Hill's Wyndham College.

This is the second case of the virus related to Wyndham College. The patient also visited the Me Oi Vietnamese restaurant in Strathfield and the Marion Aged Care Facility in Leichhardt on April 10, while he was infected with measles. Aside from those areas, he also ventured out to the Lawson shops on April 10 and 13. He went to the Blue Mountains Hospital in Katoomba on Friday and was isolated. He is said to be recovering well from the virus.

3. NSW Health is currently contacting other people who may have been exposed directly to the measles virus.

Dr Sheppeard warned that Measles is a highly contagious disease that can be easily spread by the infected person by merely sneezing or coughing. She says that the best protection from the virus is still vaccination. She also advised people to be vigilant, especially those who have not received two doses of the measles vaccine and were in the locations that the patient visited.

4. This is the first major measles outbreak in Sydney in five years.

According to the Australian, the outbreak of measles in Western Sydney was triggered by a traveller from Bali earlier this year. Dr Sheppeard said that the other cases were contracted in Auburn and the nearby suburbs.

Measles Symptoms

The symptoms of measles include sore eyes, fever, cough and a red, blotchy rash after three or four days. The rash usually starts from the head and the neck and then spreads to the rest of the body. 

"People with measles symptoms should stay home from work or school to avoid exposing other vulnerable people, such as infants, to the infection," Dr Sheppeard advised. "When attending your GP or the emergency department with measles symptoms, please call ahead so arrangements can be made to minimise the risk of spreading the infection to other people."

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