Measles case confirmed in Penrith

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A woman who visited a number of locations in and around Penrith and the Blue Mountains last week has been diagnosed with measles, sparking a health warning.

The woman, who was partially vaccinated, visited Maldini’s restaurant and the Eastbank restaurant precinct between 1pm and 3pm on Sunday, September 1 and Tench Reserve between 3pm and 4pm the same afternoon.

She visited Our Lady of the Nativity Primary School in Lawson on Monday, September 2 between 9am and 3pm and Nepean Medical Imaging at Springwood later that afternoon.

Dr Sheena Kakar, from the Nepean Blue Mountains Local Health District Public Health Unit, said anyone who was in these locations on those dates may have been exposed to the measles virus.

None of the locations visited by the woman pose an ongoing risk.

It can take up to 18 days for symptoms to appear following exposure to a person with measles. People in the same places at the same time as the woman should be alert for signs and symptoms of measles until September 19.

Measles symptoms include fever, sore eyes and a cough, followed three or four days later by a red, blotchy rash spreading from the head and neck to the rest of the body.

Dr Kakar says people with measles symptoms should see their GP but be sure to call ahead, so they can limit exposure to others in the surgery.

“If you have measles symptoms, it’s very important you stay home from work or school, don’t visit others or unnecessarily travel to minimise the spread of the infection,” said Dr Kakar.

Two doses of measles vaccine provides lifelong protection in 99 out of 100 people who are vaccinated.

“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,” said Dr Kakar.

Measles is highly contagious and is spread in the air through coughing or sneezing by someone who is unwell with the disease.

While the risk of infection is low in fully-vaccinated people, health experts urge anyone who comes into contact with someone who has measles to remain alert for symptoms.

If symptoms develop they should limit their exposure to others and seek medical care.

The NSW Government is investing $130 million in the 2019-20 Immunisation Program budget, including Commonwealth and state vaccines.

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