Measles Outbreaks In WA, Doctors Beg Parents To Vaccinate Kids

Doctors are urging parents to make sure their children get vaccinations, following a number of measles outbreaks in Western Australia.

Those in the Busselton area in the state’s south-west have been put on alert to the risk of measles, following cases in the region.

People who visited Vasse Coles on July 21, 22, 23 and 24, or Vasse McDonald’s on July 24 need to be vigilant for the onset of measles symptoms for the next 18 days.

Dr Tania Wallace said the WA Country Health Service is urging parents to make sure their children receive measles shots on schedule, with the vaccine currently administered at 12 and 18 months of age.

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“With high vaccination coverage, naturally occurring measles has been eliminated from WA for around 20 years, but occasional cases and small outbreaks occur, sparked by residents or visitors who were infected overseas,” she said.

Measles is a serious and highly contagious viral illness that spreads when infected people cough and sneeze, Wallace said.

“Being in the same room around the same time as someone with measles can result in infection in people who are not immune,” she said.

“People with measles typically develop symptoms approximately 10 to 18 days after exposure."

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“Early symptoms include fever, cough, runny nose and sore eyes, followed by a red blotchy rash three or four days later.

“The rash usually starts on the face and spreads to the rest of the body,” Wallace added.

People who are concerned they may have measles and require medical advice after hours can contact Healthdirect on 1800 022 222.