TEN cases of measles have been reported in NSW, sparking a health warning for anyone travelling to the Philippines.
Medical Epidemiologist in Communicable Diseases at NSW Health, Dr Sean Tobin, urged anyone considering travel to the Philippines to ensure their immunisations were up-to-date.
“In recent weeks there have been 10 cases of measles reported in NSW. Seven were associated with travel to the Philippines – including three young children who were admitted to hospital,” Dr Tobin said.
“Cases from the Philippines have also been reported in Western Australia and Queensland.”
The disease is spread through coughing and sneezing, and can lead to complications including swelling of the brain, pneumonia, ear infections and diarrhoea.
Children normally receive the measles vaccine at 12 months and 18 months, although babies who are travelling can be immunised at nine months.
“People returning from the Philippines should be on the look-out for symptoms of measles, which start with a fever, cough, sore red eyes and a runny nose for several days before a blotchy rash appears,” Dr Tobin said.
“People who have these symptoms should see a doctor, but call ahead to protect others in the waiting room. Let the GP know that they could have been exposed to measles in the Philippines.”