A joint report by two major public health bodies has declared measles a “major threat” to the global community.
Released on Thursday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) raised fears that a record drop in measles vaccination rates and continuing large outbreaks meant the respiratory virus was an “imminent threat in every region”. World”.
WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said it was “absolutely critical” that vaccination programs were back on track for what he said was a “preventable disease”.
“The paradox of the pandemic is that while vaccines against COVID-19 were developed in record time and deployed in the largest vaccination campaign in history, routine vaccination programs were severely disrupted, leaving millions of children vulnerable to measles-like Life-saving vaccinations against deadly diseases were missed. Dr. Ghebreyesus said.
According to WHO, India, Somalia and Yemen are the three countries with the highest incidence of measles.
While measles is considered one of the most contagious viruses, a vaccine containing measles, mumps, and rubella administered during childhood is considered the best defense to reduce future outbreaks.
In Australia, the shot is free for children between the ages of 12 and 18 months. People under the age of 20, refugees and humanitarian entrants may also be eligible for the catch-up vaccine.
The CDC says that nine out of 10 people who have not been vaccinated against the disease will become infected upon arrival at risk.
The virus is spread through droplets of water from the sneezing and coughing of infected people. Common symptoms include fever, cold-like symptoms, conjunctivitis, and a red and blotchy rash that first appears around the face and hairline before spreading around the rest of the body.
The characteristic rash usually appears three to four days after the initial symptoms develop.
Last week, visitors traveling through Melbourne Airport were told to monitor for symptoms until Saturday 3 December.
Three confirmed cases reported in a family traveling from Singapore to MelbourneBringing the total number of confirmed cases to five in 2022.
The passengers boarded Qantas flight QF36/Emirates flight EK5036 in Singapore on Monday and landed at Melbourne Tullamarine Airport at around 6:10 am on Tuesday. They were reportedly inside the airport by 8:40 am.
Victoria’s Deputy Chief Health Officer Deborah Freedman urged people who have developed symptoms to seek medical care and move forward to wear masks and ensure they are isolated from others.
Young children and adults with weakened immune systems are most at risk of serious illness, he said.
“Measles is a highly contagious viral disease that spreads rapidly through close contact, especially among people who have not been fully vaccinated,” Ms Friedman said.
It comes as NSW recorded its first case of measles in two years in September this year. A man in his 50s was infected after traveling to Asia and developed symptoms after returning to Sydney.