School issues vaccination reminder after measles scare
UPDATE, 9am: A HEALTH district spokeswoman said the suspected measles case at a Northern Rivers school was proven to be incorrect.
"I can confirm there are no confirmed cases of measles in the area," she said.
UPDATE, 8am: IT IS understood that parents and carers at Trinity Catholic College Lismore have received a second email from the school to confirm a suspected measles case was not in fact the disease.
The email says: "Further to my Medical Alert sent earlier today regarding measles, it has since been confirmed by Public Health that the case in question was not measles.
"I am sorry for any concern this may have caused but is a timely reminder that students should be protected against such illnesses."
The Northern NSW Health District has been approached for comment.
Original story: PARENTS of students at a Lismore school have been asked to keep an eye out for signs of the measles, after reports that one child had contracted the disease.
ABC North Coast has this morning reported that Trinity Catholic College Lismore had sent an email to parents yesterday.
It is understood the Public Health Unit has since been in touch with the school about the measles case.
School principal Br John Hilet told the ABC the senior student's doctor had made the diagnosis and the school was now awaiting test results.
"We received a notification a student had been diagnosed with measles so we immediately contacted parents... and asked them to keep an eye out," he said.
The case has not yet been formally notified on NSW Health's infectious disease alert website.
So far this month, NSW Health has issued seven measles alerts across the state.
"Measles is a serious disease that is easily spread through the air," NSW Health explains on its website.
"Immunisation is effective in preventing the disease.
"All children and adults born during or after 1966 should be vaccinated with two doses of measles containing vaccine if not already immune.
"Thanks to immunisation measles is now rare in Australia."
What are the symptoms?
- 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, spreads down to the body and lasts for four to seven days. The rash is not itchy
- Young children (especially infants) may also experience diarrhoea
- Up to a third of people with measles have complications. These include ear infections, diarrhoea, and pneumonia, and may require hospitalisation
- About one in every 1000 people with measles develops encephalitis (swelling of the brain).
According to NSW Health, after receiving a notification of a measles case, public health unit staff will interview the doctor and patient to find out how the infection occurred, identify other people at risk of infection, implement control measures and provide other advice.
For more information, phone your local Public Health Unit on 1300 066 055.