Measles Outbreak in the Macarthur

posted Jul 31, 2012, 7:06 PM by LASP Team
Measles is spreading through the Campbelltown area after first appearing in Eagle Vale last month.

There have been at least 22 local cases of Measles since the beginning of June and the disease had now spread to suburbs around Eagle Vale.

Measles is a very contagious viral illness that causes a skin rash and fever. Serious and sometimes fatal complications include pneumonia and encephalitis (brain inflammation). Worldwide, Measles is the fifth highest cause of illness and death in children.

Measles is rare in Australia because of the widespread use of the measles vaccine. However, it is important to continue vaccinating children because there is a risk that the infection can be brought in by people arriving or travelling from other countries.

Those who have not had two doses of the MMR vaccine, or a previous measles infection, are considered most susceptible.

The majority of people who have been diagnosed locally have been teenagers and young children that had not been immunised, including five infants.

The signs and symptoms of measles may include:

  • Fever
  • Generally feeling unwell
  • Runny nose
  • Dry cough
  • Sore and red eyes (conjunctivitis)
  • Red and bluish spots inside the mouth (Koplik’s spots)
  • Red and blotchy skin rash that appears first on the face and hairline, then spreads to the body.

You should see a doctor if you have these symptoms, but should call and notify the doctor's surgery before arriving to avoid spreading the virus.