A combined report from two major public health agencies has declared measles a “remarkable threat” to the global community.
Announced on Thursday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) are concerned that record measles vaccination rates and prolonged major outbreaks mean The respiratory virus is an “imminent threat in every region of the world. world”.
WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said it was “extremely important” that vaccination programs were re-acquired in the right direction to avoid what he called a “preventable disease”.
“The paradox of the pandemic is that while a vaccine against Covid-19 was developed in record time and deployed in the largest vaccination campaign in history, routine vaccination programs were There was severe disruption and millions of children missed out on life-saving vaccines for deadly diseases like measles. , said Dr. Ghebreyesus.
According to WHO, India, Somalia and Yemen are the three countries with the largest measles outbreaks.
The most contagious virus
Although measles is thought to be one of the most contagious viruses, the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine given in childhood is considered the best prevention for reducing outbreaks. broadcast in the future.
In Australia, children aged 12 to 18 months are vaccinated for free. People under the age of 20, refugees and humanitarian entrants may also be eligible for additional vaccinations.
The CDC states that 9 out of 10 people who are not vaccinated against the disease will become infected by contact.
This virus is transmitted through droplets produced when an infected person sneezes and coughs. Common symptoms include fever, cold symptoms, conjunctivitis, and a red and blotchy rash that initially appears around the face and hairline before spreading to other parts of the body.
The characteristic rash usually appears three to four days after the initial symptoms develop.
5 cases reported in Australia
Last week, travelers passing through Melbourne airport were asked to monitor for symptoms until Saturday, December 3.
Three confirmed cases were recorded in one family traveling to Melbourne from Singaporebringing the total number of confirmed cases in 2022 to five.
Passengers boarded QF36/Qantas Flight EK5036 in Singapore on Monday and landed at Melbourne Tullamarine Airport on Tuesday at around 6:10am. They are said to have been in the airport until 8.40am.
Victoria’s deputy chief medical officer Deborah Friedman urged people with symptoms to seek medical care, wear a mask and call ahead to ensure they can be isolated from others.
She said young children and adults with weakened immune systems are most at risk for serious illness.
“Measles is a highly contagious viral disease that spreads rapidly through close contact, especially among people who are not fully vaccinated,” said Ms.
This comes as NSW reported its first measles case in two years in September this year. A person in his 50s was infected after traveling to Asia and developed symptoms after returning to Sydney.