A CHILDCARE worker with measles is feared to have spread the highly infectious diseases among children, SA Health officials warn.
The 48-year-old woman is the latest victim of the growing spread of the infectious disease — she was a contact of a case reported last month of a 46-year-old woman who visited Ashford Hospital and Croydon Medical Center.
Children will be barred from childcare centres at Parafield and Woodville as the disease takes its course.
SA Health Chief Public Health Officer Dr Stephen Christley said the woman is recovering at home but more cases are expected.
“This woman worked at two childcare centres while infectious, meaning children, parents and staff could potentially have been exposed to measles,” Dr Christley said.
“SA Health and the childcare centres are working together to inform parents and staff about the risk of measles and ask them to phone their doctor if any symptoms develop.
“Measles is highly contagious among people who are not fully immunised, and is spread through coughing and sneezing.
“Consequently, unvaccinated and immune suppressed children will be excluded from the childcare centres but will be able to return on Monday March 17.”
The centres are:
- PARAFIELD GARDENS Children’s Centre: Wednesday February 26 from 8.30am until 4.30pm and Thursday February from 8am until 5.30pm
- WOODVILLE GARDENS School Birth to Year 7 Children’s Centre: Friday February 28 from 8.30am until 4pm
“Measles begins with fever, cough, runny nose, and sore eyes, followed by a blotchy rash which begins on the head and then spreads down the body,” Dr Christley said.
“Measles is an unpleasant illness and complications of measles can be severe, including swelling of the brain.
“Children receive their first measles vaccination at 12 months and a second one at either 18 months or four years old.”
This is the ninth case of measles in South Australia this year. A total of 16 cases were recorded in 2013, mainly from holiday-makers who picked up the diseases while overseas in Bali .
For more information about measles visit www.sahealth.sa.gov.au