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As the winter approaches, while working in a service, Educators and children will be prone to colds and flu this season and with the coronavirus epidemic still, around, symptoms can be similar.

There has been an outbreak of cases of whooping cough across the Hunter region and parents have been urged to keep children at home if they are displaying any symptoms.

SA Healthy Deputy chief medical officer, Associate Professor Nicola Spurrier, confirmed that children attending childcare or preschool had a higher risk of getting more infections than children who do not attend as children's hygiene is not very good which makes infections spread easily.

The spread of certain infectious diseases can be reduced by excluding the child or Educator, known to be infectious, from contact with others who are at risk of catching the infection. The following information details the recommended exclusion periods for infectious diseases. These are based on how long a child/educator with a specific disease is likely to be infectious and to be excluded from the service until they have passed the exclusion period and well enough to return. 

NSW Health has issued an alert for an outbreak of measles in South Western and Western Sydney. 

Three infants and a young adult from the western Sydney region, and a young adult from Queensland who spent time in far northern NSW, have contracted the disease.

Of the cases, the three were infants were too young to be vaccinated and the adult could not remember their vaccination status. One infant acquired the disease from a previously reported case.

  • Known locations that patients visited while infectious with measles include:
  • Hillsong Church, Bella Vista 26 March - 11am-12:30pm
  • Westpoint Shopping Centre, Blacktown 25 March – lunch period
  • Costco Lidcombe 24 March - lunch period
  • Total Tools, Parramatta Rd, - Auburn 24 March – early afternoon
  • Toongabbie RSL 23 March - between 5:30 – 7:30pm
  • Auburn town centre 23 March - between 11am – 1pm
  • Chester Hill Minett’s Pharmacy - around 8pm

It is important for everyone to ensure that they have received at least two doses of measles containing vaccine (MMR). Infants and young children are vaccinated with measles containing vaccine at 12 months and 18 months of age. Older children and adults born during or after 1966 should ensure that they have been vaccinated with two doses of vaccine. The Measles vaccine is free, so please make sure you visit you local GP and make sure you have had the recommended 2 doses. 

Symptoms of measles include fever, sore eyes and a cough followed three or four days later by a red, blotchy rash spreading from the head and neck to the rest of the body.

People with measles symptoms should seek medical advice as soon as possible, stay home from work or school, and limit other activities to avoid exposing other vulnerable people, such as infants, to the infection.Children shold be excluded for 4 days after the onset of the rash

For more information in regards to signs, symptoms and prevention of measles, read: Measles

Reference: 

NSW Health Alert: Potential Measles Outbreak

Measles

Measles is a serious disease that is easily spread through the air. Immunisation is effective in preventing the disease. All children and adults born during or after 1966 should be vaccinated with 2 doses of measles containing vaccine if not already immune.

Influenza, commonly known as the flu, is caused by a highly contagious virus that is spread by fluids produced during coughing and sneezing, or by direct contact with those fluids on surfaces. 

Whooping cough is a highly infectious diseases. It takes 7 to 20 days after infection for symptoms of whooping cough to appear. It begins like a cold and then it causes uncontrolled coughing and vomiting for up to several months.

Hand foot and mouth disease is a mild illness common amongst children who attend childcare. The most typical symptoms are blisters in around the hand, foot and mouth.

Gastroenteritis (gastro) is a very common illness in infants and children. It is usually caused by viruses that infect the bowel. It tends to be more common during the winter months.

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