Special clinics to combat measles epidemic

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A little girl in pink looks at her arm as a gloved hand gives her an injection. For a toddler, she is very well composed.
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NSW Health today stepped up efforts to combat NSW’s worst measles epidemic in 14 years by offering free vaccine at special clinics which have been established in the Campbelltown area.

A total of 145 cases have been reported this year with 54 of these diagnosed in the last month.

The outbreak was initially confined to Western and South Western Sydney but has now spread to the Illawarra.

“NSW is experiencing the single largest measles outbreak in more than a decade and people need to protect themselves,” said NSW Health Director for Health Protection, Dr Jeremy McAnulty.

“People with measles usually feel extremely unwell. Symptoms include a high fever, tiredness, runny nose, cough and sore eyes before a blotchy red rash appears.

“Anyone with symptoms of measles should not to go school, work or go out in public. Anyone who thinks they might be infected should see a doctor, but call ahead to make sure they don’t infect others at the doctor’s surgery.

“Measles is incredibly contagious but is preventable through vaccination. People need two doses of MMR (Measles, Mumps and Rubella) vaccine for the best protection against measles. It is safe to have the vaccine more than twice, so people who are unsure of their immunity should get vaccinated.

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“We need everyone aged between 1 year and 47 years vaccinated. While measles vaccine is free from your GP, we are hoping that the special clinics will encourage people who haven’t been vaccinated to do so now. If in doubt an extra shot won’t hurt,” said Dr McAnulty.

The immunisation clinics are to be held at the Campbelltown Catholic Club (20-22 Camden Rd, Campbelltown, 2560) on:

  • Thursday 4 October 10 am – 4 pm
  • Friday 5 October 2pm – 7 pm
  • Saturday 6 October 10am – 2 pm

Bookings are not required. Anyone aged between 1 and 47 years who is unsure whether they have had two measles shots should visit the clinic.

Source: NSW Health

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Date Created: October 5, 2012 Date Modified: October 18, 2012