The flu season is here and so are our influenza vaccine stocks, but we have an unexpected sign on our front door at TSMP.
Measles is more contagious than influenza and has recently visited Townsville. At the beginning, measles will feel like the flu with people experiencing high fevers, runny nose, cough and conjunctivitis before the rash appears after three to five days.
For this reason, we ask anybody experiencing fever and the above symptoms NOT TO ENTER our waiting room but call us from your car and we will bring you straight in to see the doctor through our ambulance doors. There may be babies not yet vaccinated and patients with immune suppression sharing our waiting room. Please be aware our reception staff may ask you to use a mask and move to a private room during the influenza season.
Measles containing vaccines (MMR) have ~10% failure rate, which is brilliant, but a second dose provides further insurance.
The Measles vaccine is now given to children at 12 and 18 months of age. Everyone born since 1966 needs to be immunised. Those born prior, aged older than 53 years are considered immune.
Most people aged between 24 and 52 years will have been offered one vaccine in childhood but will not have had a second vaccine as part of their standard course. There were catch up programs run in the 1990’s but it is hard to access these records. If you are in this age group and unsure then speak with one of our doctors or nurses about a free second dose.
All measles cases are brought in from overseas, with South East Asia being the main source. If you are travelling please make sure you are adequately vaccinated so you don’t bring measles back to Townsville.
Author – Dr Amy Keys
BSc App ( HMS), MB,BS (Brisbane), FRACGP, ClinDip Pall Care
© Townsville & Suburban Medical Practice, 2019.