The WA Health Department is urging parents to vaccinate their children.The Australian Medical Association says the current spike in measles cases in Western Australia was the result of misinformation online leading parents to not vaccinate their children.
The number of measles cases in 2014 is greater than the total recorded in the previous three years combined and AMA (WA) president Michael Gannon said the most recent figures indicated misinformation might be a factor, with WA’s currently immunisation rate at 90 per cent.
“If you can get 99 to 100 per cent immunisation rates in remote communities in the Kimberley, it begs the question why the rate can be 65 per cent in places like Mosman Park,” Dr Gannon said.
“It’s not always a lack of education… we are dealing with falsehoods being pedalled on the internet.
“In the last fortnight I have commented on fluoridisation of the water supply, pasteurisation of milk and measles… these are things that are 50, 50 and 150-year-old measures and maybe the more remote from the consequences of reality, the lazier people get and more believable conspiracy theories become.
“People should get their advice from trained medical professionals, not ‘John from Twitter’.”
The Health Department has recorded 39 cases of measles this year, compared to 14 in 2013, six in 2012 and 16 in 2011 and Dr Gannon said recent cases were children, teenagers or young adults whose parents may have been misinformed by inaccurate reports that suggested a link between measles vaccinations and autism.
The WA Health Department advises that babies need to begin immunisation against measles at 12 months.
While many older adults are immune to measles because they were infected as children, young adults may have not had measles or received measles immunisation.
Anyone born after 1965 who is not immune to measles should also get immunised.
Follow WAtoday on Twitter
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on 老域名.