A recent outbreak of measles throughout Queensland has prompted warnings to not just parents of children, but everyone to get vaccinated.
That is the message West Moreton Public Health Physician Dr Catherine Quagliotto is urging community members to hear.
“This year we have seen a spike in measles cases across Australia,” Dr Quagliotto said.
“In Queensland alone there have been 24 confirmed measles cases in the last month. The best way people can protect themselves is to get vaccinated.”
“It’s a quick process but it can be a life saver.
“Measles is a serious illness – it can land you in hospital and there’s the possibility of fatal complications such as pneumonia and brain inflammation.”
The measles virus is highly infectious and can spread easily between people within a matter of days.
Measles symptoms can present in a number of ways including fever, lethargy, running nose, dry cough, sore and infected eyes, general feelings of illness and a non-itchy rash that can begin at the face or hairline and quickly spreads to the rest of the body. The tell tale rash usually lasts about one week.
The latest cases are thought to have been brought in from people travelling overseas, and Dr Quagliotto encourages those that are intending to travel to undergo the vaccinations.
“When travelling to another country there may be a number of vaccine-preventable diseases that you are at risk of contracting.”
Queensland Health recommends anyone who has not had two documented doses of measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine or had proven measles, to visit their doctor to get vaccinated.
For anyone born during or since 1966 the vaccine is free.
For more information on measles visit the Queensland Health website or contact 13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84) any time, any day.