HEALTH authorities have warned a measles outbreak that has struck over the border should serve as a reminder for people to protect themselves with the measles vaccine.
The number of notified measles cases for the year so far in Victoria is 11, according to the state’s health department. But New South Wales is currently in the grips of an epidemic, with more than 100 cases this year.
A Department of Health spokesperson said the measles was a highly infectious disease and, in most cases, was introduced by travellers.
“There is a particular incident in NSW that’s occurred, through no fault of their own, but because of the highly contagious nature of measles,” he said.
“It’s a good advertisement for immunisation.”
Measles causes fever, runny nose, cough and sore red eyes, followed by a rash and can sometimes lead to dangerous complications such as pneumonia. The disease still causes deaths in Australia.
The City of Ballarat provides an immunisation service at several locations in the Ballarat region.
Immunisation nurses deliver all scheduled early childhood illnesses, with drop-in clinics and appointments available.
“On the National Immunisation Program, the measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) immunisation is routinely administered at 12 months and four years,” a City of Ballarat spokesperson said.
“Children who have missed these routine immunisations are welcome to receive the immunisation at a drop-in clinic or make an appointment.”
For a full list of immunisation locations and timetable, visit www.ballarat.gov.au or call 5320 5155.
For details of the National Immunisation Program, visit the Department of Health website: www.health.vic.gov.au