Shoppers and train passengers who have been in some parts of Maitland are being urged to be on the lookout for symptoms of measles.
A female university student in her 20s has been diagnosed with the highly-contagious infection and unknowingly visited a number of places.
Those places in Maitland and in Sydney include:
Wednesday 3 April
- F45 Gym Haymarket, 39 Goulburn Street, Haymarket, 7:15am - 8:45am
- Macquarie University (various buildings), Balaclava Rd, Macquarie Park, 11:00am - 6:00pm
Thursday 4 April
- Caffeine Project, Shop RG11, 28 Broadway, Chippendale (Carlton Street side of Central Park Shopping Centre), 11:00am - 11:30am
- Macquarie University, Balaclava Rd Macquarie Park, 1:00pm - 6:00pm
Friday 5 April
- Central Station, Grand Concourse, including intercity platforms, 7am - 7:30am
- XPT service from Central Station to Maitland, departing Central 7:08am, arriving Maitland 10:00am
- Lavenders Riverside Café, 1/418 High Street, Maitland, 11:00am - 11:30am
- Hunter Valley Grammar School, 42 Norfolk St, Ashtonfield, 3:15pm - 4:15pm
- Train from Wyong to Central, departing Wyong at 5:12pm
Saturday 6 April
- Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb Office, 4:45am - 9:30am
- Central Park Shopping Centre, 28 Broadway, Chippendale 10:30am - 11:00am
- Marcellin Park, Lorn, Maitland, 1:45pm and 3:00pm
Sunday 7 April
- Seraphine Café, 230 High Street Maitland, 9:30am - 11:00am
- The Maitland Hospital Emergency Department, 10:40am and 12:00pm
- Rutherford Homemakers Centre (including Early Settler, Eureka, Oz Design Furniture, Harvey Norman, Domayne, and Beacon Lighting) 12:00pm - 1:00pm
- The Maitland Hospital Emergency Department, 1:00pm - 3:40pm
None of the locations visited by the woman pose an ongoing risk.
The local public health unit is working with Maitland Hospital to directly contact patients who were there at the same time as the woman.
NSW Health Director of Communicable Diseases Vicky Sheppeard said people in these locations at the time should be alert for symptoms up to at least April 23, 2019.
“We cannot stress enough the need for holidaymakers to be vaccinated before travelling to South-East Asia because the majority of cases we are seeing are being brought home,” Dr Sheppeard said.
“NSW already has record immunisation rates but the community is not fully covered and measles is highly contagious and can stay in the air for up to 30 minutes after an infected person has left a room.
“If you’re not sure if you have had two doses of measles vaccine which provides lifelong protection in 99 out of 100 people, it is safe to get another jab, particularly if you’re heading overseas.”
Symptoms include fever, sore eyes and a cough followed three or four days later by a red, spotty rash that spreads from the head to the rest of the body. If infected, people should call ahead to their GP or hospital to ensure they don’t expose people in the waiting room.
Dr Sheppeard said preventive injections can also be given to highly-susceptible people up to six days after exposure to measles. People can contact their local public health unit for advice on 1300 066 055.
This particular diagnosis is the 35th in NSW since Christmas last year.
Image credit: Pixabay https://pixabay.com/photos/measles-virus-infection-648479/