A Rash Decision (Measles)

Protect your kids from measles – get them vaccinated!

Measles was once a common childhood illness. However, after the introduction of the measles vaccine in 1966, reported cases became extremely rare.

But in the past few years, numbers of reported cases of measles have started to increase again. This is mostly due to tourists bringing the virus from overseas.

Measles is a viral disease that may have serious complications, including ear infections, diarrhoea, pneumonia and encephalitis (swelling of the brain).

The first symptoms are fever, tiredness, cough, runny nose, sore red eyes and feeling unwell. A few days later a rash appears. The rash starts on the face and spreads down to the body, lasts for four days to a week.

Measles is really, really infectious, and so anyone who hasn’t been vaccinated can catch it easily. That’s why it’s so important to make sure your kids are vaccinated against measles – when they are 12 months old and then again when they are four years old. They need BOTH shots to protect them.

Some parents don’t want to get their kids vaccinated because they’re worried about side-effects. Usually the only side-effects are pain where the needle has gone in and a slight fever. More serious side-effects are extremely rare – it’s much more dangerous to leave your child exposed to measles than to get them vaccinated.

By refusing to get your kids vaccinated, you’re not only putting them at risk, you’re also endangering the rest of the community, including the sick, the elderly and little babies.

Speak to your doctor or someone at your Aboriginal Medical Service about childhood vaccinations today. If you’re not sure whether you or your kids are protected, talk to your doctor about a booster shot.

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