SNAPDATE: Measles in Australia

Reported cases of Measles in Australia reach 100 for 2019.
Source: Flickr

Measles in Australia is having a bumper year. But it hasn’t been such a good year for those who have not yet been vaccinated by necessity (younger than 9-12 months) or choice, who missed out on vaccination to those only got one of the two recommended shots (those born between 1966 and 1992).[5]

Photographed early in 2014 in the Philippines capital city of Manila, this baby was in a hospital with measles (rubeola). Children under 5 years of age and adults over 20 are at higher risk for measles complications including pneumonia, and a higher risk of hospitalization and death from measles than school-aged children and adolescents.
Source: CDC PHIL

As of today, Australia reached 100 cases of measles. Cases in 2019 have been spread across all States and Territories except for Tasmania, according to the National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System (NNDSS) site.[1]

Australia for 2019 so far.

And this year will most likely easily surpass the previous four years in terms of total cases identified. So far 2019 is the bigger than three of them. Cases have been mostly among males and those 15 to 40 years of age.[1]

This is the trend being seen around the world at the moment.[2,5]

Some geographic regions are more generously contributing to the global spread of Measles than others.[3] This is facilitated through return travel to or visiting tourists from, countries including Ukraine, the Philippines, Brazil, Yemen, Venezuela, Serbia, Madagascar, Sudan, Thailand and France which all have an increasing measles transmission problem.[4]

It isn’t just the traveller’s fault. We need to be sure that we are sufficiently vaccinated so as not to become an unwilling (or in some cases willing) host to this extremely transmissible virus.

Countries like Australia do well with their vaccine coveraage but until a virus is eliminated – not something humans have had a lot of luck with so far – we need to remain vigilant.

Source: World Health Organization.


  1. National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System
  2. Measles cases have surged 300% this year, and the disease has killed more than 1,200 people on one island alone since October
  3. Measles cases up 300% worldwide in 2019, says WHO
  4. These are the Most Alarming Measles Outbreaks Worldwide
  5. How bad is measles if you catch it, and what’s causing the global spike in cases?

Views: 1532

1 thought on “SNAPDATE: Measles in Australia”

  1. The tourists’ ”black list” should include Italy, that has a noticeable portion of youngsters and adult not vaccinated (those in 15-45 yrs class of age): since childhood MMR vaccine coverage is near the optimal level (around 90%), the gap remains in the susceptible population, excluded from active immunization campaigns developed so far (and because of the inefficiency of the public health services). The risk is so much more great for young travelers that might mix with local dwellers for fun (beaches, amusement parks, publicans, etc.). A serology test before departure may help…

Comments are closed.