An ENTIRE generation of young adults could be at risk of catching contagious disease following largest outbreak in 20 years.

Health professionals are concerned the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine may no longer be working effectively, leaving a large section of the population unprotected from the mumps virus.

Last year the biggest outbreak of mumps was recorded, with 804 cases, according to the federal Department of Health’s data. There have been 89 cases already this year, shares Courier Mail.

Health professionals are worried that 27 per cent of all mumps cases in Australia over the past five years were suffered by adults who had already received two doses of the vaccination, one at 12 months of age and another between the ages of four and six.

“It’s a recognised issue,” Australian Medical Association Queensland spokesman and specialist in infectious diseases, Dr Paul Bartley, said.

“It’s difficult to work out what proportion of patients have waning immunity because they tend to only come to medical attention after they get sick.

“It’s been pored over by public health professionals … but nothing has been confirmed about a problem with the vaccine.”

The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation has acknowledged that recent outbreaks of mumps have “predominantly involved young adults, nearly all of whom had a history of vaccination during childhood, most with the recommended two-dose schedule.

“This evidence of waning immunity has led to suggestions that vaccination with a third dose during adolescence might be an effective measure to prevent outbreaks.”

Dr Bartley said a third vaccination to protect young adults with waning immunity is “under active consideration”.

The most recent known case

There was a confirmed case of Measles at BIG W’s Werribee Plaza Store, Victoria.

On Sunday, March 12 the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) issued a release notifying the public of a confirmed case of measles. The patient in question is a casual employee of Big W at Werribee Plaza and worked over four consecutive days while infectious, but before being diagnosed.

The team member worked on Friday March 3 between 8pm and midnight, Saturday March 4 between 5 and 9 pm, Sunday March 5 between 3 and 6pm and Monday March 6 between 6 and 9pm.

BIG W is working closely with DHHS to ensure that customers and team members who may have come into contact with the patient are notified and advised of the signs and symptoms of measles.

For further information please contact your local doctor or call the Victorian Department of Health on 1300 651 160.

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  • This is scary. For some reason my body absorbs the rebulla vaccination. It doesnt stay in my system. Having my second vaccination in just over a year ago.
    So dont think just because you have had the vaccination it doesnt mean you are immune to it. Go and get yourself and family regularly tested for all vaccinations..its your life and your family life at risk.


  • make sure that people are aware of these things. i had to get up-to-date on my immunisations (rubella needed a top up) and it can be so easy to get busy with life and not realise.


  • Thanks for the update, I am all for vaccination.


  • I think a 3rd vaccination for young adults is a good idea… I recently had to get a blood test as evidence of having had certain vaccinations that were needed for my new job, and found out that even though I’d had the Measles/Mumps/Rubella vaccines when I was younger, I’d actually lost my immunity to measles. I would’ve had no idea if it hadn’t been for that blood test, and didn’t even know that could happen! Needless to say, I got re-vaccinated – but it makes you wonder how many people are out there that may have lost their immunity and don’t know it!


  • I hope the medical community and Scientists are able to get funding to research vaccines and find an answer and a solution to this problem. We need for the community to be protected from these horrendous diseases.


  • If my Daughter caught something off an unvaccinated child god help the parents of the child All children should be vaccinated the government should make it illegal for a child not to be vaccinated the parents should get hefty fines every year there child/ children arnt vaccinated


  • Oh great, just wait until all the anti-vax’s jump on this band wagon! In all honesty though, again it comes down to any protection is better than none at all even if said protection may need to be updated due to it becoming ineffective.


  • We need to vaccinate our children for the sake of those that medically, cannot be vaccinated. It protects the wider community who can’t be vaccinated and whose immunity is down due to having chemo or just being a baby.


  • This is a bit of an eye opener but it does make sense. Some of us have better immunity systems than others.


  • People need to vaccinate. For many reasons. For the protection of children, babies, and even adults. It is a health issue. It needs to be done.


  • Concerning. Something that needs more investigation and hopefully new vaccines can be developed.


  • Hate the thought that these vaccines are not a lifelong benefit against these infections. Just hate the thought that the dreaded small pox might rear its ugly head again as we would be unable to fight off this disease these days.


  • Another thing for our medics to work on. Because we didn’t live that long originally, the length of the vaccine working was not recorded. Hate to think that the small pox vaccine is being outlived and that might rear it’s ugly head again.


  • I am not immune to these diseases. I was vaccinated as a child but my body didn’t take it on. I have had 3 vaccines since I found out 7 years ago and I’m still not immune. An extra vacation in adolescents may not work if all these people are the same as me. Maybe it’s the vaccine that needs work.


  • Thank you to Big W for announcing this. Has it been verified whether the patient had ever been vaccinated? How long is the incubation period for measles? I’m sure she would have been contagious before she noticed any symptoms.


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