The WA Health Departments recent notification of measles in travellers returning from Japan and Indonesia, once again highlights the need to ensure you are fully immunised before travelling overseas to any destination, even developed countries. The routine vaccines covered in childhood, such as measles, diphtheria and whooping cough are often overlooked by adults, who may need boosters.
This year has seen a number of measles cases reported around Australia, all of them brought into Australia by travellers and most of them by un/under –immunised Australians returning home.
Measles is one of the most contagious illnesses known. Severe complications including pneumonia, are common. It spreads quickly to friends, family and colleagues on return if they are not already immunised.
The highest risk age groups are those born between 1966 and 1982 (34 -50 yrs) and unvaccinated children under 5.
Paula Johnstone RN