An urgent health alert has been issued for areas in northern NSW after a confirmed case of measles.

NSW Health issued the alert on Monday revealing an infected person had recently returned to Murwillumbah following an overseas trip to Asia.

Primary and secondary students who used the Singh Company school bus on February 5 to check for symptoms.

Residents who visited Murwillumbah Hospital between 1.15pm-4pm on Friday and between 12.15pm-8pm on Saturday to also be on the lookout.

Early symptoms include a runny nose, a cough, red and watery eyes and small white spots inside the cheeks before the characteristic rash appears on the head and spread to the rest of the body.

The disease can be spread through the air to people near someone who is infected if they cough or sneeze.

Although there is a vaccine for measles, North Coast Regional Director of Population and Public Health Dr Valeri Delpech said it was good reminder to be fully vaccinated.

'This latest case is a reminder for everyone to check that they are protected against measles, which is very infectious,' Dr Delpech said.

'If you were born in 1966 or after, you need to receive two doses of measles vaccine to be fully vaccinated.

'It is particularly important to check your vaccinations are up to date before you travel as measles outbreaks are occurring in several regions of the world at the moment.'

Dr Delpech warned that symptoms start to appear between seven and 18 days after exposure and that the public needs to 'stay vigilant if they've been exposed'. 

'If they develop symptoms... please call ahead to their GP or emergency department to ensure they do not spend time in the waiting room with other patients,' he said.

The NSW Health alert also urged anyone travelling to the measles-affected areas with a child aged between six and 12-months-old to have their child vaccinated before leaving.

'If you are unsure whether you have received two doses, it is best to get a vaccine, as additional doses are safe,' the alert reads. 

'This is particularly important prior to travel.'

The Centre for Disease Control lists India and Pakistan as two of the top 10 countries by measles cases.

While areas in Asia have been hit by numerous outbreaks, African countries such as Yemen and Ethiopia are also on the top-10 list.  


Measles is a highly contagious, airborne disease caused by a virus that can lead to severe complications and death

While anyone can be infected, children are the most-likely to be hit

It is widely recognised be a red rash that spreads across the body and lasts for about a week before fading

In serious cases the disease can cause blindness, a brain infection, severe diarrhoea, ear infections and breathing problems including pneumonia.

Although a safe and cost-effective vaccine was introduced in 1963, an estimated 128,000 people died from measles globally in 2021

Source: World Health Organisation

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2024-02-12T02:25:19Z dg43tfdfdgfd