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Level 21 McKell Building 2-24 Rawson Place
Sydney, New South Wales 2000
We help meet New South Wales' health needs by managing the planning, design and delivery of health infrastructure capital works. We do so by uniting the skills and resources of the construction and health industries to deliver world-class infrastructure a ... more
Director, Communicable Diseases
Centre for Health Protection
"All recent measles outbreaks in NSW have tended to affect high-school children rather than primary-school children,"
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"Measles is highly infectious and is spread through coughing and sneezing.
Symptoms can include fever, tiredness, runny nose, cough and sore red eyes which usually last for several days before a red, blotchy rash appears.
Complications can range from an ear infection and diarrhoea to pneumonia or swelling of the brain," Dr Sheppeard said.
Protect vulnerable people as flu cases rise: NSW Health
NSW Health's Director Communicable Diseases, Dr Vicky Sheppeard, said when flu was introduced to aged care facilities it was difficult to control as flu vaccination was not as effective in the elderly. "Nevertheless, as older people are particularly susceptible to contracting the flu it's important they have the vaccination every year to reduce the risk of hospitalisation and death," Dr Sheppeard said. "So far this year we've had 79 outbreaks in residential aged care facilities, affecting around 942 staff and residents, with 45 associated deaths reported in elderly residents with significant underlying illness. It's important that friends and family who may have the flu stay away from these facilities while they are unwell to help prevent the spread of the virus." Dr Sheppeard said all pregnant women were also strongly advised to have the influenza vaccination to reduce the health risks to themselves and their babies. "Pregnant women who get influenza are at greater risk of developing serious complications, such as pneumonia, which may result in their hospitalisation," Dr Sheppeard said. "Children born to vaccinated mothers also have a reduced risk of contracting influenza in the first six months of life. Dr Sheppeard said while influenza presentations at emergency departments continue to increase each week, the NSW Health system was well prepared to manage the cases. "The NSW Ministry of Health, Local Health Districts and NSW Ambulance work together to manage surges in demand and improve the transfer of care times for patients during peak periods at hospital emergency departments," Dr Sheppeard said.
"As older people are particularly susceptible to contracting the flu, it's important they have the vaccination every year to reduce the risk of hospitalisation and death," Sheppeard said.
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