Published: Mon, March 11, 2019
Medical | By Vicki Mclaughlin

Vaccine boost as measles cases rise in Canterbury

Vaccine boost as measles cases rise in Canterbury

Measles cases are rising globally, including in wealthy nations such as the United States and Germany, where some parents shun the vaccines mostly for philosophical or religious reasons, or concerns - debunked by medical science - that the vaccines against measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) could cause autism. The Arizona Department of Health Services is working with Pima County Public Health Department to learn if there was any community exposure to the disease.

Australian health authorities issued a measles alert last week after an Australian traveler contracted the highly contagious disease while holidaying in Vietnam and brought it back to Darwin in the Northern Territory. "We recommend that everyone is vaccinated against measles to help keep our communities safe".

One case of measles have been confirmed in the Interior Health region.

Measles spreads through the air.

Symptoms include fever, watery eyes, cough and runny nose and is followed with a rash.

If you are planning on attending a doctor's office or hospital and think you may have been exposed, call ahead so the office and hospital can plan to prevent further potential exposure.

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Measles can be prevented with the MMR vaccine.

The case in Cochise County was reported at Elfrida Elementary school.

Interior Health says they are following up with anyone who has been in contact with the patient to determine immunization status and, if necessary, offering post-exposure protection.

Older boys and men may experience swelling in the testicles, and women can sometimes feel pain in their abdomen around their ovaries.

One in 10 people who get measles will need treatment in hospital, and up to 30 per cent will develop complications - usually children under five and adults over the age of 20.

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