The October announcement that Rubella or German Measles has been eliminated in Australia is graphic proof that immunisation is so successful at decreasing the frequency of childhood infection. You know the ones; measles, mumps, diphtheria or Tetanus and there are others.

Most have never seen a case although working as I did, in Vietnam and later in Papua New Guinea almost most were un-vaccinated, I have seen them all. Perhaps that’s why I got so concerned when I heard there had been a local outbreak, as in August of 2012.

Because immunisation has been so successful, measles the virus which caused that outbreak, must have come from outside Australia and in this case, it was from Thailand. The children and babies who are suffering caught the virus because, somehow or other, they had missed out on their second immunisation.

If they had the first injection for MMR, (mealses, mumps, rubella) at 12 months they would have received some protection but having the second injecton at 4 years puts the icing on the cake and builds up the immunity.

Take this opportunity to check your children’s immunisation schedule and make sure they are up to date. If you are unsure talk to your GP about a booster.