MEASLES ALERT

Measles

Queensland health authorities are warning kids and young adults to watch out for measles symptoms after four cases was confirmed to have contracted the highly infectious illness this year, despite this kind disease having been eradicated from Australia decades ago.

Measles is one of the world’s most infectious viruses and is highly contagious.  Symptoms can include:

  • fever,
  • fatigue,
  • runny nose, and
  • sore red eyes.

 

How it spreads:
    • By mother to baby by pregnancy, labor, or nursing,
    • By airborne respiratory droplets (coughs or sneezes),
    • By saliva (kissing or shared drinks),
    • By skin-to-skin contact (handshakes or hugs), and
    • By touching a contaminated surface (blanket or doorknob).

 

The symptoms usually last for several days before a red, blotchy rash appears, according to the federal Department of Health. The viral illness spreads through coughing and sneezing.

Measles can cause:

    • middle ear infections,
    • serious complications including pneumonia (lung infection), and
    • encephalitis (inflammation of the brain).

 

Deaths occur mainly in children under five years of age, primarily from pneumonia, and occasionally from encephalitis. Complications are more common and more severe in people with a chronic illness and very young children.

The symptoms of measles are usually treated with:

  • rest,
  • plenty of fluids, and
  • paracetamol to lessen pain or fever. (do not use aspirin for treating fever in children, the Queensland Health said)

 

Vaccination with the measles vaccine is the only way to prevent infection. Immunisation against measles is recommended as part of the National Immunisation Program Schedule. Those who are required to receive the Measles Mumps Rubella (MMR) vaccine (free of charge) include:
  • All children aged 12 months and 18 months, and
  • Children at 4 years of age who have not previously received a second MMR vaccine

 

Adults that were born or since 1966 who have not received two doses of the MMR vaccine are also eligible for the free vaccine.  You can be immunised at your local Doctor, GP or medical centre. Check with your local council, community child health and community health centre regarding free immunisation clinics.

Educare strongly recommends at least one family member knows how to react in an emergency situation, or at least have completed a first aid course within the home; in particular, the HLTAID004 course for new and/or young parents.

Disclaimer: This information is not to be taken as medical advice. If you have any questions or concerns in regards to the measles outbreak in Queensland, please contact you nearest medical centre and/or staff.

Source: Queensland Health, Department of Health, AMA and Skynews

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