Measles alert for Mid North Coast and Northern NSW

Aug 07, 2023

The Mid North Coast and Northern NSW Local Health Districts are urging people to be alert for
signs and symptoms of measles and to get vaccinated if not up to date, following the notification of
a case in the region.

It is likely the case acquired their infection whilst travelling in Bali, where a high number of cases
have occurred in recent months. The case visited several locations in NSW while infectious, and
contact tracing of potential high risk persons is underway.

Dr Valerie Delpech, Acting Director, Northern NSW Population and Public Health Directorate, said anyone
who was in the same locations as the cases should be alert for signs and symptoms of measles until
18 August, and check their vaccination status.

People may have been exposed to the case in the following locations:

• Coffs Harbour University football field, AFL North Coast under 10 competition – on Sunday
30 July between 9am-10am

• Woolgoolga AFL sports field, AFL North Coast under 12 competition – on Sunday 30 July
between 11am-12pm

• Hazard reduction burn, Minnie Water Road, Minnie Water – on Monday 31 July 8.30am5.30pm

These locations do not pose an ongoing risk to people.

Anyone born in or after 1966 who has not received two doses of measles vaccine should get a
measles vaccine to prevent the infection.

“The measles-mumps-rubella vaccine is safe and effective protection against measles. 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 quite safe to have another,” Dr Delpech said.

“The measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine is available from GPs (all ages) and some pharmacies
(people 12 years of age and over). Children should receive the MMR vaccine at 12 and 18 months of
age, as part of their routine childhood immunisations.

“Those most likely to be susceptible to measles are infants under 12 months of age who are too
young to be vaccinated, anyone who is not fully vaccinated against the disease, including adults, and
people with a weakened immune system.

“Symptoms of measles include fever, sore eyes, and a cough followed three or four days later by a
red, blotchy rash which typically spreads from the head and neck to the rest of the body.

“It can take up to 18 days for symptoms to appear after an exposure, so it is really important to stay
vigilant if you’ve been in the above locations. If you develop symptoms, please call ahead to your GP
to ensure you do not spend time in the waiting room with other patients,” Dr Delpech said.

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

Measles remains common in many parts of the world, with large outbreaks currently occurring in a
number of locations, including Bali. People unsure of their vaccination status should check and get
vaccinated before travelling overseas. People returning from recent overseas travel should be alert
for symptoms.

For more information on measles, view the measles factsheet.

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