Spreading Measles Is The Quickest Way To Get Cancelled. Please Check Your Vaccination History

    There have been 92 cases of measles recorded in Australia so far this year.

    There is an outbreak of measles this year in Australia and if you're aged between 20-something and 50-something, you might be at particular risk of being infected.


    There have been 92 cases of measles recorded in Australia so far this year, according to the National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System.

    By the end of March last year there were 35 reported cases of measles in Australia but by the same time this year it was already up to 86. There were 81 cases of measles for the whole of 2017.

    If you were born between 1966 and 1994 you might be more susceptible to the infection as you might have only received one dose of the vaccine due to changing vaccine schedules.

    Measles is vaccine preventable but it is a highly contagious viral illness which spreads through coughing and sneezing and the virus can survive in the air and on surfaces for a couple of hours, according to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.

    Most cases now diagnosed in Australia can be traced back to a person who
    became infected overseas, the institute says. Symptoms usually start with fever, runny nose, cough, red eyes and sore throat.

    A few days later a rash appears, first on the face or neck and then spreading over the body, which lasts up to a week. Serious complications of measles include infections like pneumonia (lung infection) and encephalitis (brain inflammation). Adults and young children are more likely than older children and adolescents to develop complications.

    Health minister Greg Hunt said on Monday he was very pleased that 93.5% of 2-year-old children in Australia have received two doses of measles vaccine but noted "we need 95% of our community vaccinated to achieve community immunity, to help prevent the spread of measles".

    "The Australian government provides measles vaccines at no cost through the National Immunisation Program for all individuals up to the age of 19 years," Hunt said.

    "Most states also provide vaccines at no cost to some groups."

    The government has commissioned the Australian Academy of Science to work closely with measles experts to develop materials to raise awareness about measles.

    The academy will produce a series of videos to explain what the symptoms of measles are and encourage people to check their vaccination status.

    Gina Rushton is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Sydney.

    Contact Gina Rushton at gina.rushton@buzzfeed.com.

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