Travelling to Bali, Thailand, Vietnam or other parts of Asia? There be measles!
Victorian Medical Practitioners received another Measles warning today.
The alert was sparked by the 35 confirmed cases of Measles in Victoria this year, with 18 of the cases in returned travellers from Philippines, Bali, Thailand, India, China, Vietnam and Sri Lanka. Apparently there is a large outbreak in Manila and much of the Philippines. Note that we are referring to ‘Measles’, AKA ‘English Measles’ as distinct from ‘German Measles’ (AKA ‘Rubella’ – ie the one that causes the birth defects). English Measles causes a rash and a flu like illness.
Children are routinely vaccinated against measles in Australia, via the ‘Measles Mumps Rubella’ vaccine. The childhood vaccination schedule has recently changed, with the second dose now being given at an earlier age than previously.
You can see from Google that Measles Alerts have been previously listed on the Chief Health Officer’s (CHO’s) Health Alerts page, but that particular Alert is not currently there. Here is the document we received today:
IEMML GP Urgent Notifications Measles 20140326
I think it was last Tuesday on ABC 24/7 that I noticed the CHO confirming that GP Measles vaccines stocks, as supplied by the State Government, could be used to immunise adults up to the age of 50. Well, at least some things are still free!