Heather Hazzan

NEWS BRIEFING: Measles outbreak - experts launch campaign to tackle the disease

Embargoed until: Publicly released:

**FULL RECORDING AVAILABLE** With concern growing about the spread of measles in Australia and overseas, the Australian Academy of Science and the Department of Health are launching a campaign to tackle the problem and provide information to the public.

Organisation/s:

Media Briefing/Press Conference

From: Australian Science Media Centre

In the past month there have been new cases of measles in Perth, Sydney, the Gold Coast and Cairns and some major outbreaks in New Zealand, the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam during 2019. Most cases in Australia appear to be linked to travellers and experts are urging people to check their vaccination status before going on overseas trips.

Experts and a former measles patient will be available to answer journalist's questions, including:

  • How infectious is measles and why is it dangerous?
  • Why are measles cases going up in Australia and overseas?
  • What level of vaccination is required to enable herd immunity and will the disease ever be eradicated?
  • Where are the hotspots of measles globally and how should people prepare for overseas travel?

The campaign includes a series of explainer videos and a set of related articles for the public, travellers and health professionals.

Speakers:

  • Professor Allen Cheng is a specialist in infectious diseases and an epidemiologist at The Alfred hospital.
  • Professor David Durrheim is Director of Health Protection, Hunter New England Health
  • Professor Raina MacIntyre is an infectious diseases expert from the University of New South Wales
  • Van Badham is a measles vaccination advocate who nearly died as a teenager from the disease

Campaign materials:

The videos from the campaign can be accessed here: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/k0lhm99z0d48qmr/AABfMoIHgUb0fKmPi2EWJHgVa?dl=0

The articles can be found here: https://www.science.org.au/curious/people-medicine/measles-everything-you-need-know

These may be republished (please credit the Australian Academy of Science) or used as source material.

The Australian Department of Health has statistics on measles numbers by state and territory - http://www9.health.gov.au/cda/source/cda-index.cfm and the WHO has individual country and global statistics - https://www.who.int/immunization/monitoring_surveillance/burden/vpd/surveillance_type/active/measles_monthlydata/en/

Attachments:

  • Australian Science Media Centre
    Web page
    Full briefing recording

News for:

Australia

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