Please be alert for symptoms of measles - authorities are fearing an outbreak with 10 cases of the potentially fatal virus diagnosed so far in Melbourne over the past three weeks.
Victoria’s Chief Health Officer Rosemary Lester says two separate clusters of the highly contagious disease have now been identified and that people in the northern and eastern suburbs of Melbourne may be at particular risk.
The illness usually begins with common cold symptoms such as fever, sore throat, red eyes and a cough.
The characteristic measles rash usually begins three to seven days after the first symptoms, generally starting on the face and then spreading to the rest of the body: http://ow.ly/21GKK6
The Victorian clusters come after an alarming surge of measles in the UK this year prompted an urgent vaccination campaign.
British health authorities believe the outbreak was caused by a lack of herd immunity among young people who were not vaccinated in the early 2000s.
Low vaccination rates around the turn of the century were caused by now discredited suggestions that the measles mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine was linked to autism.
In 1998, Andrew Wakefield published research implying a link between the two, however the research has since been withdrawn and Mr Wakefield was struck off the medical register for using falsified data.