Sarah Harvey

Young adults urged to get measles jab after case no.11

HEALTH officials are pleading with Gen-Y Ipswich residents to get the measles vaccination after an 11th case of the disease was confirmed.

The warning comes after 10 of the 11 confirmed measles cases in Ipswich had occurred in adults who were born after 1966.

The man infected with the latest measles case visited Ipswich Hospital while contagious.

He was in ward 7B on the evening of October 8 and the day of October 9.

Health officials urge anyone who visited the ward on those dates to be alert for measles symptoms.

West Moreton Hospital and Health Service have extended the free vaccination clinic into next week at the Ipswich Health plaza in Bell St.

Public health physician Dr Heidi Carroll said many adults in their late 20s and early 30s mistakenly believe that they have been vaccinated for measles.

"This may be because measles vaccine wasn't universally available to all children in Australia until the late 1980s and early 1990s," she said.

"Adults who were born in 1966 or later and who do not have documentation of having received measles vaccine, or having had the infection, are particularly at risk of contracting the disease.

"If in doubt, the message is to get vaccinated to help prevent you from contracting measles."

Dr Carroll said anyone unsure of their measles immunity or vaccination status should visit their GP.

"True measles is a serious viral infection that causes fever, cough, runny nose, and then a red spotty rash and sore eyes a few days later.

"Symptoms usually start around 10 days, but can occur between seven and 18 days after infection .

"It is very important to call the medical practice first to say you could have measles, so that staff can take precautions to avoid spreading the disease to others."

She said if people are adequately vaccinated with two recorded doses of Measles Mumps Rubella vaccine, they are very unlikely to get the disease," she said.

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