GPs encouraged to be on the lookout for symptoms of measles
GPs are encouraged to be on the lookout for symptoms of measles, which continues to be imported by travellers from many countries, including New Zealand.
There have been 52 measles cases notified so far this year compared to just 19 cases last year. Some recent cases have had no history of overseas travel or links to known cases.
GPs can advocate for immunisation among patients soon to travel overseas. Children aged from 6 months to under 12 months can have an MMR vaccination early if travelling overseas (they will still need doses at 12 and 18 months of age).
MMR vaccines are free in NSW for those born during or after 1966 who have not previously had two documented doses. Health care workers are at increased risk – ensure that you and your staff are vaccinated.
Measles travel posters and other resources for your clinic are available from the NSW Health measles page: www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/measles
For further information, contact your local Public Health Unit on 1300 066 055.
- The Australian Academy of Science has a measles information page, which includes an educational video for health professionals to raise awareness of increased notifications. The video highlights the importance of talking to patients about their vaccination status and the availability of catch-up vaccines.
- Consider checking the Measles pathway on Illawarra Shoalhaven HealthPathways or ACT & Southern NSW HealthPathways for localised information, including details specific to culturally and linguistically diverse populations.