Children on a northern NSW school bus on alert for measles symptoms

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Parents in one state are being warned to be on alert after a returning overseas traveller was diagnosed with the potentially deadly disease measles.

NSW Health said the person had recently returned to the Northern Rivers region from Asia, where ongoing measles outbreaks are affecting countries including India and Pakistan.

Schoolchildren who had ridden the morning and afternoon Singh Company school bus at Murwillumbah on February 5 are among those on alert.

Anyone who attended the Murwillumbah Hospital between 1.15-4pm on February 9 and 12.15-8pm on February 10 were also warned to monitor for symptoms.

North Coast Regional Director of Population and Public Health, Dr Valerie Delpech, said while there was no ongoing risk at the locations, people should be on the lookout.

“Symptoms of measles include fever, runny nose, sore eyes and a cough,“ Dr Delpech said.

“Usually that is followed three or four days later by a red, blotchy rash that spreads from the head to the rest of the body.

“Symptoms may appear between seven-18 days after an exposure, so it’s important for people to stay vigilant if they’ve been exposed.

“If they develop symptoms, please call ahead to their GP or emergency department to ensure they do not spend time in the waiting room with other patients.”

Measles is spread through the air when someone who is infectious coughs or sneezes, according to NSW Heath, but can be prevented by vaccines.

“This latest case is a reminder for everyone to check that they are protected against measles, which is very infectious,” Dr Delpech said.

“If you were born in 1966 or after, you need to receive two doses of measles vaccine to be fully vaccinated.

“It is particularly important to check your vaccinations are up to date before you travel as measles outbreaks are occurring in several regions of the world at the moment.”

A number of nation’s worldwide have seen outbreaks of Measles recently, such as impoverished Yemen and India, while countries in Europe have also reported an uptick.