Measles is a highly contagious viral illness that causes a skin rash and fever. It is estimated that a person with measles will infect about 9 in every 10 people they have contact with who do not already have immunity. Measles is most commonly spread when someone swallows or inhales the cough or sneeze droplets from an infected person, but can also occur by coming into contact with contaminated surfaces.
Serious and sometimes fatal complications including pneumonia and encephalitis (brain inflammation). Worldwide, measles is the fifth highest cause of illness and death in children.
Immunisation is the best protection against measles. A person who receives the recommended two doses of a measles vaccine has 99 per cent immunity against infection.
Requirements for students
The Victorian Standardised Student Induction Protocol requires that students have immunity to measles when undertaking clinical placement.
The following documentation is accepted as evidence of immunity to measles:
- Official vaccination record from a medical practitioner or Medicare indicating administration of two doses of MMR vaccine; or
- Serology report indicating immunity to measles; or
- Government-issued documentation confirming a birth date prior to 1966.
Due to the risk of non-seroconversion from vaccination, the University recommends that all students obtain confirmation of immunity through serological testing prior to commencing placement.