According to a joint report from two major public health organizations, measles is an “imminent threat” to worldwide society.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Thursday that a historic drop in measles vaccination rates and ongoing big outbreaks made the respiratory virus an “imminent threat in every region of the world.”
Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization, said it was “extremely vital” that immunization campaigns be restarted to avert what he called a “preventable disease.”
“The paradox of the pandemic is that while vaccines against Covid-19 were made in record time and used in the largest vaccination campaign in history, routine immunization programs were badly messed up, and millions of kids missed out on lifesaving vaccinations against deadly diseases like measles,” said Dr. Ghebreyesus.
WHO says that India, Somalia, and Yemen are the three places where measles is spreading the most. Even though measles is thought to be one of the most contagious viruses, the vaccine given to children that protect against measles, mumps, and rubella is thought to be the best way to stop future outbreaks.
In Australia, children between 12 and 18 months old can get the shot for free. People under 20 and refugees or people coming to the country for humanitarian reasons may also be able to get a catch-up vaccine. The CDC says that nine out of ten people who haven’t been vaccinated will get the disease if they are exposed to it.
The virus spreads through the water droplets that come out of the sneezes and coughs of people who have it. Some of the most common symptoms are fever, cold symptoms, conjunctivitis, and red, blotchy rashes that start on the face and hairline and then spread to other parts of the body.
The typical rash usually shows up three to four days after the first signs of illness. People who went through Melbourne Airport last week were told to watch for symptoms until Saturday, December 3.
Three confirmed cases were found in a family from Singapore that was traveling to Melbourne. This brings the number of confirmed cases in 2022 to five. The passengers got on Qantas flight QF36/Emirates flight EK5036 in Singapore on Monday. The plane landed at Melbourne Tullamarine Airport at about 6:10 am on Tuesday. People say that they were at the airport until 8:40 a.m.
Deborah Friedman, Victoria’s deputy chief health officer, told people with symptoms to go to the doctor, wear a mask, and call ahead so they can be kept away from other people.
She said that little kids and adults with weak immune systems are most likely to get sick. “Measles is a highly contagious virus that spreads quickly, especially among people who haven’t had all their shots,” said Ms. Friedman.
In September of this year, NSW had its first case of measles in two years. A person in their 50s got sick after going to Asia and started having symptoms when they got back to Sydney.