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HEALTH WARNING: To parents of babies too young to be vaccinated against deadly measles

Two babies have been diagnosed with the dangerous and highly infectious disease, measles in Sydney.

By Rebel Wylie
NSW Health, on Tuesday issued its 15th measles warning for 2019, after two Sydney babies too young to be vaccinated became infected with the highly dangerous and extremely infectious disease in mid-March.
This follows health warnings from other states where measles outbreaks have occured in recent weeks.
The disease has an incubation period of between seven to 18 days, meaning symptoms take a while to show up. Parents - particularly with children too young to be immunised - should remain vigilant and understand the symptoms.
An eight-month-old is likely to have contracted measles in the Haymarket area. It is believed they were infectious while visiting a Strathfield Korean restaurant on March 26, a Hurstville cafe on March 27 and St George hospital emergency department on March 30.
The second baby, aged 11 months, is believed to have caught the disease in Eastwood before visiting shopping centres in Eastwood, Castle Hill and Kellyville in the last week of March.
WATCH: Cecily lost her daughter Laine from a disease resulting from a measles infection. Continues after video ...
It's not just the immediate measles infection that is a concern. NSW mum, Cecily Johnson lost her 12-year-old daughter Laine to a terrible, degenerative disease she suffered because of the measles infection she'd contracted as a baby.
Laine died of subacute sclerosing panencephalitis (SSPE), a horrific disease that left her blind within two weeks of diagnosis at seven years old, mute not long after that and by the time of her death at age 12, Laine was completely bedridden, unable to do anything for herself.
Laine became infected with measles as an innocent 10-and-a-half month old baby, too early for her 12-month measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccination.
While Laine seemingly recovered from measles, SSPE lay dormant in her system, making it's devastating blow when the young girl with a huge future was seven years old.
Little Laine Johnson had lost her vision by the time this phot was taken. Image: Supplied.

Who is most at risk from measles?

People most vulnerable to a measles infection are infants under 12 months, who are too young to be vaccinated, and young adults who may not have had two doses of the MMR vaccine.
The national immunisation register sees children immunised at 12 months of age with the measles mumps rubella (MMR) vaccine and again at 18 months with measles mumps rubella varicella (MMRV).
The recent cases are a timely reminder for people to ensure they are vaccinated. The measles vaccine is free for anyone born since 1966.
"Herd immunity provides protection to those unable to be vaccinated such as infants and people with weakened immune systems," NSW Health communicable diseases director Dr Vicky Sheppeard said in a statement.
People most vulnerable to a measles infection are infants under 12 months, who are too young to be vaccinated, and young adults who may not have had two doses of the MMR vaccine. Image: Getty.

Signs and symptoms of the measles

The most distinctive symptom of the measles is a rash, which often starts on the face and spreads to the rest of the body. Other symptoms of the measles can resemble those of the common cold.
  • Fever
  • General discomfort, illness or lack of wellbeing (malaise)
  • Runny nose
  • Dry cough
  • Sore and red eyes (conjunctivitis)
  • Red and bluish spots inside the mouth (Koplik's spots)
  • Red and blotchy skin rash that appears first on the face and hairline, and then spreads to the body
If you, or someone you know, is showing symptoms, seek medical assistance immediately.