A New Zealand woman has made a desperate plea warning of the devastating effects measles can have on a “strong and healthy” adult.
The woman took to social media to raise awareness of the highly contagious disease after her 45-year-old husband was left bed-bound in hospital after measles took control of his body.
“This virus is horrific. If it can do this to a fit 45-year-old male, I can’t imagine how a child or baby would cope,” she wrote, sharing images of her husband in hospital.
“This is the true face of measles.”
She said her husband first contracted measles 11 days ago and he now has encephalitis - a rare complication of measles which causes swelling of the brain.
With no available treatment, she and her family now face an anxious wait as he remains in hospital.
While the complication can be fatal, the New Zealand Herald reported the man’s condition has since improved.
She said her husband thought he was immunised but staff at the hospital say it is clear he wasn’t.
His wife is desperate to warn others to ensure they are immunised and check if they are.
“if just one person sees this post and is motivated to get immunised then it helps someone, somewhere.”
Health officials urge for immunisation check
Last month health officials urged Australians under the age of 54 to check their measles vaccination history.
The warning was prompted by a spate of measles cases in returning overseas travellers, including a New Zealand visitor.
NSW communicable diseases director Dr Vicky Sheppeard said the cases demonstrated the importance of people born after 1965 checking their vaccination history before travelling overseas.
"Measles cases worldwide have dramatically increased in 2019, and many countries are experiencing large and ongoing outbreaks," she said.
Two doses of the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine provide lifelong protection in 99 per cent of those vaccinated.
Anyone born after 1965 who haven't had two doses can access it for free in NSW, ACT, Victoria, Western Australia and Queensland.
It's also free nationwide for all people born after 1998 or refugees of any age.
Dr Sheppeard sought to reassure those unsure about their dose history that having another dose is safe.
Symptoms are suspected when a person begins to feel unwell, has a cough, runny nose or sore eyes and a fever followed by a rash.
People with measles should stay at home to prevent spreading the disease. If symptoms become worse, medical advice should be sought.
Resting, drinking plenty of fluids and taking paracetamol is advised when contracting measles.
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