A MAITLAND school, cafe and train station are on a list of possible measles exposure locations, according to a public health warning.
A law student from Macquarie University unknowingly exposed people in several locations across the Hunter and Sydney to the highly-contagious condition.
She visited Hunter Valley Grammar School, Maitland train station and Lavenders Riverside Café during her travels. She also visited Seraphine Café at Maitland Art Gallery, Rutherford Homemakers Centre and Maitland Hospital.
People who visited those locations during the same time period as the law student (see times in list below) are advised to watch for symptoms until April 24. None of the locations visited by the woman pose an ongoing risk.
Measles is highly contagious and is spread in the air through coughing or sneezing by someone who is unwell with the disease.
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.
The female student in her 20s is the 35th case of measles in the state since Christmas. In January a child diagnosed with measles spent time in Pokolbin while unaware he was infectious. The child was visiting from a country that has a large outbreak of measles and became infectious on Christmas Eve a few days after arriving in Sydney.
"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," NSW Health director of communicable disease Dr Vicky 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."
The local public health unit is also working with Maitland Hospital to contact patients who were at the hospital at the same time as the woman.
Infants under 12 months of age who are too young to be vaccinated and young adults are most likely to be susceptible.
A spokesperson for Hunter Valley Grammar School, where the law student visited on the afternoon of Friday, April 5, said advice from Hunter New England Health indicated the risk to the school community was low.
"The person was not a student of ours and was here outside normal school hours," the spokesperson said.
TIMES AND LOCATIONS
While infectious, the student spent time in the Hunter at:
Friday April 5
Central Station, Grand Concourse, including intercity platforms, 7am - 7:30am
XPT service Central Station to Maitland, departing Central 7:08am, arriving Maitland 10:00am
Lavenders Riverside Café, Maitland, 11am - 11:30am
Hunter Valley Grammar School, Ashtonfield, 3:15pm - 4:15pm
Train from Wyong to Central, departing Wyong at 5:12pm
Saturday April 6
Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb Office, 4:45am - 9:30am
Central Park Shopping Centre, Chippendale 10:30am - 11am
Marcellin Park, Lorn, Maitland, 1:45pm - 3:00pm
Sunday April 7
Seraphine Café, Maitland, 9:30am - 11am
The Maitland Hospital Emergency Department, 10:40am and 12pm
Rutherford Homemakers Centre, 12pm - 1pm
The Maitland Hospital Emergency Department, 1pm - 3:40pm
MEASLES ALERT 10/04/19: @Macquarie_Uni students and people who have been around Central Sydney and Maitland are being advised to watch out for symptoms of measles after a young woman was diagnosed. Read the full media release: https://t.co/jwrI5JEsR9pic.twitter.com/nYNknBzdel— NSW Health (@NSWHealth) April 10, 2019
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