NSW Health urges travellers to protect against measles

2 minute read

The warning comes after two recent cases were reported in the state.

NSW Health has urged people to check their measles vaccinations are up to date before travelling overseas, following reports of two recent cases in travellers returning from Bali.  

Individuals who are unsure about whether they’ve previously had two doses of the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine should consult their GP or local pharmacy to get the vaccine, with additional doses proven to be safe, according to the department. 

Travellers arriving back in NSW who develop symptoms of measles should urgently contact their GP to arrange measles testing, especially those coming from high-risk areas such as South-East and Southern Asia or Africa.   

According to Dr Christine Selvey, director of NSW Health’s Communicable Disease Branch, symptomatic individuals should also call ahead to their GP or emergency department to avoid being in waiting rooms around other patients. 

“Anyone who is not immune is at risk of developing the disease if they are exposed,” Dr Selvey said. 

“Measles can be very severe and people with measles often require hospitalisation, however it is almost completely preventable through vaccination.” 

For families travelling with young children to areas at risk for measles, the MMR vaccine schedule can be started as early as six months of age. 

Anyone travelling with young children is advised to discuss their travel plans with their GP. 

The MMR vaccine is free for anyone living in NSW born during or after 1996 with no record of having received two doses in the past. 

Two doses of the vaccine have been shown to provide long-term protection to 99% of people vaccinated. 

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