Via The Courier-Mail: Vaccination warning: Woman with measles develops fatal brain infection. Excerpt:
Melbourne doctors have warned of the “terrible” consequences of low vaccination rates after a young woman with measles developed a fatal brain infection.
A report, to be published in the Medical Journal of Australia today, says a woman, 23, suffered “progressive neurological decline” after being exposed to the measles virus.
She had involuntary jerks, eyesight and speech problems, impaired movement and a seizure before being diagnosed with a terminal brain disorder.
The Victorian case, albeit very rare, has prompted infectious disease specialists to call for greater vigilance with measles vaccinations.
“This case is important as it highlights a terrible consequence of a vaccine-preventable disease,” wrote Dr Eloise Williams, from Western Health and the Victorian Infectious Diseases Reference Laboratory.
“It highlights one of the possible consequences if measles vaccination rates are not improved.”
The report said “herd immunity” — when 96-99 per cent of the population was vaccinated — was “instrumental in preventing measles”.
But only 91.9 per cent of children aged five had received the required two doses of measles vaccines, 2012 figures said.
Another study, also in the MJA today, revealed the number of parents refusing to vaccinate their children had not increased markedly over a decade. It found 3.3 per cent of Australian children aged one to six were not fully immunised because of “vaccination objection”, according to 2013 figures, compared to between 2.5 to 3 per cent in 2001.
The study authors, from the National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance, said the figures went against the common perceptions.
“Considerable media and public attention has been focused in recent years on the refusal by some parents to vaccinate their children ... (but) there has been little change in the overall impact of vaccination objection,” they said.