Measles alert after man visits locations in St George and Sutherland Shire

Telltale sign: A red rash like the one seen here is one of the symptoms of measles.

Telltale sign: A red rash like the one seen here is one of the symptoms of measles.

St George and Sutherland Shire residents are urged to be on the lookout for measles symptoms after a man who visited a number of locations in the area was diagnosed with the highly contagious disease.

South Eastern Sydney Local Health District (SESLHD) is also urging residents to ensure they are vaccinated against measles before travelling within the South Pacific region, where there is currently a widespread measles outbreak.

The warning comes after a man was diagnosed with the infectious disease on his return from Samoa.

Dr Catherine Bateman-Steel, acting director of SESLHD's Public Health Unit, said people who frequented a number of locations in St George and Sutherland Shire between November 15 and November 20, including a peak-hour train service, should watch out for signs of measles infection until December 8.

The local locations are:

  • The train from Town Hall to Arncliffe station at about 7pm on Friday, November 15.
  • Men's Headquarters hairdresser, 18 Firth Street, Arncliffe, between 8am and 9.45am on Saturday, November 16.
  • Miranda Medical Centre, 573 Kingsway, Miranda, between 8am and 9am on Sunday, November 17.
  • St George Hospital emergency department, between about 7pm on Tuesday, November 19, and 3am on Wednesday, November 20.

Dr Bateman-Steel said symptoms of measles include fever, sore eyes and a cough, followed a few days later by a red, blotchy rash spreading from the head and neck to the rest of the body.

"If you develop symptoms, please see your GP as soon as possible, ensuring you ring ahead and do not wait in the waiting room with other patients," she said.

"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 and seek medical care if they develop."

New Zealand, Tonga and Samoa are currently experiencing a widespread outbreak of measles.

Outbreaks in popular tourist destinations heighten the risk of bringing infections back to Australia.

NSW Health provides the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine free of charge to anyone born after 1965.

For more information on measles click here