Measles is a contagious viral illness that causes a skin rash and fever. Serious and sometimes fatal complications include pneumonia and encephalitis (brain inflammation). Measles is also known as rubeola, not to be confused with rubella (German measles). 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. It is important to continue immunising children in Australia, because there is a risk that the infection can be brought in by people arriving or returning from overseas.
Symptoms of measles
The signs and symptoms of measles may include:
Fever, general discomfort, illness or lack of wellbeing (malaise), 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, and then spreads to the body
Complications of measles
Possible complications of measles include:
otitis media – inflammation of the middle ear
diarrhoea and vomiting – may cause further complications such as dehydration
respiratory infections – such as bronchitis, croup or laryngitis
pneumonia – a type of lung inflammation that causes about 60 per cent of measles deaths
pregnancy problems – if a pregnant woman contracts measles, she risks miscarriage or premature labour
encephalitis – or brain inflammation, affects about one person with measles in every 1000. About 10 to 15 per cent of people with encephalitis die and 15 to 40 per cent of survivors have permanent brain damage to varying degrees
subacute sclerosing panencephalitis (SSPE) – occurs in about one in every 100,000 cases of measles. SSPE is an extremely rare progressive inflammation of the brain that causes brain degeneration and is always fatal. SSPE usually begins about seven years after the measles infection.
Vaccinations & Immunisations
We stock are large range of vaccines at the clinic, both for the immunisation schedule, travel & more
Vaccines on the Immunisation Schedule are stocked at all times and are usually given by our Practice Nurses. If these vaccinations are for your new baby an appointment must be made with the Doctor first followed by the Practice Nurse, please arrive 15 minutes early to fill out a registration form It is important to inform staff at time of booking what the appointment is for.
Vaccinations for travel are best initially discussed in consultation with your doctor, then a booking with the practice nurse immediately after to administer the vaccinations. Please make appointments for travel vaccinations and advice 6-8 weeks before departure