Have you been thinking about Measles? Are you about to travel overseas with a baby?

by Dr Chris Rook - September 13, 2019

MMR Vaccine for Babies in AdelaideIf so, come in and speak to one of the Travel Doctors at Globe Medical Adelaide.

There has been significant discussion in the media about the global epidemic that we are currently experiencing. In our immediate neighbourhood there have been a large number of cases in Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Borneo, Papua, the Philippines and South East Asia.

Some of the countries affected are surprising and the types of destination that we usually associate with good vaccine coverage and therefore protective herd immunity - but even the USA and Europe have been affected.

Why does this matter?

Those of us born before 1966 will likely have had Measles as a child and generally it is unpleasant but not serious. However, 1 in 1000 measles cases progress to acute encephalitis which can cause permanent brain damage. 1 in 3 out of every 1000 children infected can die from respiratory or neurological complications. Subacute sclerosing panencephalitis is a rare, but fatal degenerative disease of the central nervous system that develops 7 to 10 years after measles infection.

Who is at risk?

  • Children under 5yrs
  • Adults over 20yrs old
  • Pregnant women
  • People with compromised immune systems (Leukaemia or HIV for example).

Transmission of Measles

Measles is one of the most infectious diseases around! 9 out of 10 susceptible people exposed to the virus will become infected.

It is a respiratory virus that spreads via direct contact with an infected person or via droplets from sneezing, coughing or even just breathing. Measles can remain in the air for an astonishing 2 hours after the infected person has left the area.

Who should come and get advice?

If you were born between 1960 and 1980 it is possible you only had 2 doses of the MMR vaccine (which protects you from the disease) so please come in to discuss this with us.

If you are travelling overseas and have a child under 1yr (who has therefore not yet had the measles vaccine - normally given at 1yr) please come in to discuss EARLY vaccination before you travel. This can be done from 6 months.

Current Vaccine Shortage

There has been a national shortage of the vaccine but we have managed to get in a small supply recently. Please contact Globe Medical Reception on (08) 8232 7372 for more information.

Related Links

Image credit: Centre for Disease Control & Prevention


Author

Dr Chris Rook

Dr Chris Rook is a Fellow of the Royal College of General Practitioners. After completing a medically-related Science degree, Chris went on to study medicine and undertook his internships in the United Kingdom. He completed rotations in Psychiatry, Rehabilitation medicine, Paediatrics, Obstetrics and Gynaecology and Dermatology, before moving into General Practice & Travel Medicine.

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