Measles has been all but eradicated in Western Australia for the last 20 years. In the past week, an ‘unprecedented’ outbreak has seen five people infected in the Rockingham area of Perth.
The outbreak is believed to have been started by a man visiting from New Zealand, where there have been over 1,300 cases of the highly infectious disease.
The WA’s Department of Health is urging anyone showing symptoms of measles (fever, cough, runny nose and sore eyes, followed by a red blotchy rash) to contact their GP.
Even more importantly, authorities are stating that the case highlights the need for Australians more broadly to check their vaccination record and ensure they’ve had two doses of meningitis vaccine. This helps to protect not only the vaccinated individuals, but also those who cannot be vaccinated such as infants and pregnant women.
It’s critically important that children aged 12-18 months receive their first vaccination, whereas a new adult vaccine for people aged 20-53 years is now available for those needing a catch-up dose.
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Source: ABC News