1 December 2020
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Measles and beyond

Measles and beyond

Dr Ross Walker
23 October 2013

A recent outbreak of measles in South Eastern Queensland has prompted the state’s Chief Medical Officer to send a letter to around 10,000 parents of unvaccinated children, strongly suggesting they complete their children’s vaccination schedule.

The standard suggestion is that children have a measles vaccination as part of the MMR vaccine (measles, mumps, rubella) at age one and repeated at age four.

For reasons only known to themselves and certainly not backed up by any solid scientific evidence, there is a vocal minority living in modern society who object to any type of vaccination suggesting it can cause anything from autism, ADHD to the actual disease it is trying to prevent.

Because of this vocal minority, we are now seeing a resurgence of many of these (at times) very serious infections; diseases with occasional long term disability and (fortunately) only the rare occurrence of death.

Measles is not just a benign illness that causes a fever and a rash.  In uncommon cases, it may cause severe, life threatening pneumonia and in 1 in 1,000 cases, a severe encephalitis known as sub-acute, sclerosing panencephalitis that may leave a child with a permanent, intellectual disability.

If you were born after 1966, check with your doctor your current vaccination status against all these very preventable diseases.

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