Australia: Queensland health authorities urge vaccination as measles rate jumps - PressFrom - Australia
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AustraliaQueensland health authorities urge vaccination as measles rate jumps

10:50  15 april  2019
10:50  15 april  2019 Source:   brisbanetimes.com.au

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Measles vaccination protects against three diseases. This vaccine is only licensed for use in children who are 12 months through 12 years of age. Before the measles vaccination program started in 1963, an estimated 3 to 4 million people got measles each year in the United States.

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Queensland’s health authorities have issued a fresh call for people to get vaccinated against measles, with 12 cases recorded in the state already this year.

Queensland health authorities urge vaccination as measles rate jumps© ninevms There have been 12 cases of measles in Queensland so far this year, two more than all of last year. By contrast, there were 14 cases total of the potentially deadly disease in Queensland across 2018.

Acting Medical Director of the Communicable Diseases Branch Dr Jonathan Malo said getting the full course of vaccination was the best possible way to ensure protection against the disease.

“The group at high risk are those who have not had two documented doses and who then travel overseas,” Dr Malo said.

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Measles is a highly infectious viral disease which can lead to serious complications such as pneumonia and encephalitis (inflammation of the brain). In addition, measles infection damages and suppresses the whole immune system.

Healthcare providers should report suspected measles cases to their local health department within 24 hours. If many measles cases are occurring among infants younger than 12 months of age, measles vaccination of infants as young as 6 months of age may be used as an outbreak control measure.

“The majority of cases we see are from people who go travelling overseas and who then come back to Queensland where the infection can be further spread among those who are not immune.”

Around half of Queensland’s 12 recorded measles cases in 2019 were from people who had travelled overseas or interstate and then returned with the disease, while the other half contracted the disease in Queensland from an infectious person, Dr Malo said.

Queensland health authorities urge vaccination as measles rate jumps© Supplied The highly infectious disease is especially dangerous for young children who haven't had the MMR vaccination.

Those cases were all Queensland residents who had reported to Queensland Health that they had the disease, and Dr Malo was not able to say how many tourists from overseas had visited Queensland while infectious.

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Though European vaccination rates are high overall, measles continues to spread where vaccination rates have declined, the World Health Organization warned in " Vaccine -safety related sentiment is particularly negative in the European region," Larson and her colleagues noted in their report.

Vaccine Impact covers essential news regarding vaccine safety, and the impact vaccines have on the lives of individuals and families. The Mayor and the Health Department are assuming that by declaring a state of emergency over recent measles "outbreaks," that they have the legal authority to

Measles vaccination coverage in Queensland was comparable to other states in Australia, he said, but that was for children aged one, two and five years old who are part of the current program of MMR vaccination.

Health authorities want to avoid a repeat of the spike in cases of a few years ago, when there was a low of four cases in 2012, then 52 cases in 2013 and 72 in 2014.

“It can be quite a serious illness and people still die all around the world from measles, so that’s why we want to make sure people are up to date (with the vaccinations),” Dr Malo said.

People born after 1966 may not have received a second dose, but Dr Malo said even if they had and forgotten, there was no medical downside to getting a third booster.

“Talk to your GP and, if you’re unsure, get your dose of MMR vaccine,” he said.

Measles is a dangerous disease that starts with flu-like symptoms before the telltale blotchy red rash appears.

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Measles vaccine is a vaccine that prevents measles . Nearly all of those who do not develop immunity after a single dose develop it after a second dose.

“ Vaccines work. If measles is to be eliminated, we must continue to further our understanding of the underlying reasons for non- vaccination and to address them with effective evidence-based interventions.” Ramsay urged people who might not have been immunised to see their doctor.

While unpleasant, the disease eventually passes, but can escalate into a range of secondary infections including pneumonia and even meningitis, leading to brain damage.

It is also highly infectious for anyone without a full round of vaccinations, especially young babies who have not yet been vaccinated.

The symptoms take around 10 days to appear; however, the person is infectious that whole time, meaning a person can unknowingly pass on the disease simply by going about their usual activities.

The MMR vaccine, which in addition to measles also immunises against mumps and rubella, is free in Queensland for anyone who has not had a documented second dose.

Anyone wishing to organise a booster should visit their GP. However, anyone who thinks they have contracted measles should stay home and call their GP so as not to spread the disease further.

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"Don’t vaccine your kids period!"

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