Health alert after measles case detected at Blacktown Hospital in Sydney

Sydney residents have been put on alert for signs and symptoms of measles after a positive case was detected in a child.

People who attended Blacktown Hospital emergency department from 9.30am to 3pm on Friday, February 23 have been told to be on the lookout for symptoms, such as a fever, runny nose, sore eyes and a cough, that could appear between seven to 18 days after exposure.

Red blotchy rashes can also spread from the head to the rest of the body about three to four days after initial symptoms appear.

The case was detected in an infant, who was too young to be vaccinated and had recently returned from South Asia, where multiple outbreaks of the virus have occurred in India an Pakistan.

“This is similar to previous cases we’ve seen, a young child who was too young to be vaccinated, having returned from overseas,” NSW Health Minister Ryan Park said.

“This includes fever, runny nose, sore eyes and a cough, usually followed by a red, blotchy rash several days later.

“By remaining vigilant we can protect each other and the community.”

Western Sydney Local Health District director of public health Catherine Bateman said the Blacktown Hospital emergency department posed no ongoing risk.

“Symptoms may appear between seven and 18 days after an exposure, so it’s important for people to stay vigilant if they’ve been exposed, and if they develop symptoms, to please call ahead to their GP or emergency department to ensure they do not spend time in the waiting room with other patients,” Dr Bateman said.

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

Dr Bateman urged eligible people to get vaccinated for the disease, which is free in NSW for unvaccinated people, and on the National Immunisation Program (NIP) for children between 12 to 18 months of age.

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