Australian Health Authorities Issue Measles Alert in Sydney, Know More About the Disease

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By Ma Evelyn Castino Quilas | July 30, 2014 1:02 PM EST

For the second time this year, Australian health authorities issued a measles alert after a person who contacted the contagious disease visited the Leinchhardt MarketPlace, Leichhardt Library, and Northon Plaza, inner Sydney on several instances from July 15 to 24.

People who have visited on any of the three above-mentioned places on the specified dates are advised to look out for symptoms.

Just last March, the health authorities also urged the people to check if they and their children have been fully immunised against measles after 26 measles cases erupted in New South Sales.

According to the health alert issued by NSW Health, Director of Communicable Diseases Dr. Vicky Sheppeard stated that the disease is highly communicable among people who are not fully vaccinated.

"Measles is spread through coughing and sneezing, and is one of the most contagious infections known," the doctor stated.

Symptoms

According to Web MD, sore throat, high fever, runny nose, hacking cough, and sneezing are the first symptoms of measles which can be likened to a bad cold. A person with measles may have a swell in the neck's lymph nodes and may feel very tired. He or she will also have red, sore eyes and diarrhea and will notice rashes all over the body.

A person who has come near a person with measles will usually get the symptoms after the incubation period of eight to 12 days. Adults who have acquired the disease will usually feel worse compared with the children who got sick with the same disease.

Prevention

In the NSW Health Alert, Dr. Sheppeard urged children 12 months of age to have their first dose of measles vaccine while babies who will be travelling before they reach the scheduled measles vaccination date can have their first dose during their ninth month. She further advised that the children 18 months and above need to have their second dose of measles vaccine.

Likewise, Dr. Sheppeard encouraged adults born or after 1966 specially those planning to travel to the Philippines and other South-East Asian countries to have two doses of measles vaccine to be administered at least four weeks apart.

Treatment

For those people who have acquired the disease, Web MD cited that they usually get better with home care. When needed, they can take medicine to lower down the fever provided they read and follow the instructions written on the label. It is also advisable to drink plenty of water, and get enough rest, and stay away from other people and public places to prevent the spread of the disease.

While most people who acquired measles normally get better within two-weeks time, there are some cases wherein measles pose precarious problems like encephalitis (swelling of brain) or pneumonia (lung infection). There are also rare cases of meningitis and seizures associated with measles.

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