A spike in measles cases in Australia is likely to have been caused by travellers, rather than the anti-vax movement, it has been revealed.
It comes after 92 cases of the disease have been confirmed in the first three months of 2019 – nearing the total number of cases for the whole of 2018. Australia was declared “measles-free” just five years ago.
Commenting on the figures, the Australian Government’s health minister, Greg Hunt, reminded travellers that “immunisation saves lives”.
Experts have suggested that the increasing number of cases highlight the growing number of people who are no longer immune to the disease, with many missing routine childhood vaccinations both before and after arrival in Australia.
The news follows a similar worldwide trend, with the US also seeing more cases of measles in 2019 than the whole of 2018.
According to the US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, some 387 cases have been reported in the first quarter of this year, making 2019 the second-worst year for measles since the United States declared itself “measles-free” almost 20 years ago.
Measles is an extremely infectious viral illness that can sometimes cause serious complications. While now largely disappearing in the UK due to the effectiveness of the measles vaccination, outbreaks can spread quickly among unvaccinated communities.
If you have not received the measles vaccination, which is usually delivered as part of the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) NHS childhood vaccination programme, our clinic can help.
The Harrow Health Care Centre can vaccinate both adults and children of any age regardless of their previous vaccine status. Call and make an appointment today.