A combined report from two major public health agencies has declared measles a “eminent threat” to the global community.
Released Thursday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) feared that a record drop in measles vaccination coverage and continued major outbreaks meant the respiratory virus posed an “imminent threat in every region of the world”. world”.
WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said it was “absolutely crucial” that immunization programs get back on track to prevent what he called a “preventable disease”.
“The paradox of the pandemic is that while vaccines against Covid-19 were developed and deployed in record time in the largest vaccination campaign in history, routine immunization programs were severely disrupted and millions of children missed life-saving vaccinations against deadly diseases such as measles. said Dr. Ghebreyesus.
According to the WHO, India, Somalia and Yemen are the three countries with the largest measles outbreaks.
While measles is thought to be one of the most contagious viruses, the vaccine containing measles, mumps, and rubella during childhood is considered the best defense to reduce future outbreaks.
In Australia, the shot is free for children aged 12 to 18 months. People under the age of 20, refugees and new arrivals on humanitarian grounds may also be eligible for a catch-up vaccination.
The CDC states that nine out of 10 people who are not vaccinated against the disease will become infected with exposure.
The virus is transmitted through water droplets released when infected people sneeze and cough. Common symptoms include fever, cold symptoms, conjunctivitis, and red and blotchy rashes that first appear around the face and hairline before spreading elsewhere on the body.
The characteristic skin rash usually develops three to four days after the first symptoms develop.
Last week, visitors traveling through Melbourne airport were asked to watch for symptoms until Saturday, December 3.
Three confirmed cases were recorded in a family traveling to Melbourne from Singapore, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to five in 2022.
The passengers boarded a Qantas Flight QF36/Emirates Flight EK5036 in Singapore on Monday and landed at Melbourne Tullamarine Airport at approximately 6.10am on Tuesday. They were reportedly 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 be isolated from others.
She said young children and adults with weakened immune systems are most at risk for serious illness.
“Measles is a highly contagious viral disease that spreads quickly with close contact, especially in those who are not fully vaccinated,” said Ms Friedman.
This is because NSW reported its first case of measles in two years in September this year. A person in his 50s became infected after traveling to Asia and developed symptoms after returning to Sydney.