A combined report from two major public health agencies has declared measles a “significant threat” to the global community.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) released on Thursday feared a record drop in measles vaccination rates and ongoing large outbreaks meant the respiratory virus was an “imminent threat in every region of the world.” World”.
The Director-General of the WHO, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said it was “absolutely critical” that vaccination programs were put back on track to avoid what he described as a “preventable disease”.
“The paradox of the pandemic is that while vaccines for Covid-19 were being developed in record time and deployed in the largest immunization campaign in history, routine immunization programs have been severely disrupted and millions of children have missed out on life-saving shots against deadly diseases like measles,” said Dr. Ghebreyesus.
According to the WHO, India, Somalia and Yemen are the three countries with the largest measles outbreaks.
The most contagious virus
While measles is considered one of the most contagious viruses, the childhood vaccine containing measles, mumps and rubella is considered the best defense to reduce future outbreaks.
In Australia, injections are free for children between 12 and 18 months. Persons under the age of 20, refugees and humanitarian entrants may also be eligible for a catch-up vaccine.
The CDC states that nine out of 10 people who are not vaccinated against the disease will become infected when exposure occurs.
The virus is transmitted by water droplets released when infected people sneeze and cough. Common symptoms include fever, cold symptoms, conjunctivitis, and red and blotchy rashes that first appear on the face and hairline before spreading elsewhere in the body.
The characteristic rash generally appears three to four days after the first symptoms appear.
5 cases reported in Australia
Last week, visitors who have traveled via Melbourne Airport were asked to watch for symptoms until Saturday December 3rd.
Three confirmed cases were recorded in a family traveling from Singapore to Melbourne, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to five in 2022.
Passengers boarded a Qantas Flight QF36/ Emirates Flight EK5036 in Singapore on Monday and landed at Melbourne Tullamarine Airport around 6.10am on Tuesday. They reportedly stayed at the airport until 8:40 am.
Victoria’s Deputy Chief Health Officer Deborah Friedman urged people who developed symptoms to seek medical attention, wear a mask and call ahead to ensure they can isolate from others.
She said young children and adults with weakened immune systems are most at risk of serious illnesses.
“Measles is a highly contagious viral disease that spreads rapidly with close contact, particularly in those who are not fully vaccinated,” Ms. Friedman said.
This comes as NSW reported its first case of measles in two years in September this year. A person in his 50s was infected after a trip to Asia and developed symptoms upon returning to Sydney.
Originally released when WHO and CDC declare measles an imminent global threat, Covid is to blame