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Adelaide Measles Outbreak

If you’ve been to the Mt Barker Farmers Markets, Morphettville Medical Centre, Kirinari Community School or Plympton Family Practice this week, be aware 6 kids came back from Bali and may have triggered a measles outbreak. 

AN extended family has fallen ill with the highly infectious measles virus after a trip to Bali, prompting an urgent public health warning.

Key suburbs at risk include Mt Barker, Glenelg East, Unley and Plympton.

Six people from an metropolitan Adelaide family have come down with the disease prompting SA Health to remind travellers to make sure their vaccinations are up to date before heading overseas.

More info here:

Measles Outbreak: Queensland Health Warning

Measles outbreak 2013

Queensland is currently experiencing a measles outbreak, with 21 cases reported so far this year.

Measles is an acute, highly infectious illness which can cause serious complications such as pneumonia (lung infection) and encephalitis (inflammation of the brain).  It can spread very easily so anyone who has not had two measles containing vaccinations, or who is not sure, is strongly encouraged to get vaccinated as soon as possible.

The measles vaccine is free from your local doctor for anyone born from 1966 and after. People born before 1966 are considered immune due to growing up at a time when everyone had measles in early childhood.


It usually takes about 10 days for measles symptoms to show, but can take from 7 to 18 days.

The early symptoms of measles include:

  • fever
  • tiredness
  • coughing
  • runny nose
  • red inflamed eyes.

These symptoms usually become more severe over the first three days.

In the early stages of infection, small white spots on a red base may appear in the mouth on the inside of the cheek. This is followed by a blotchy, dark red rash, usually beginning at the hairline. The rash will spread to the entire body over the next 24 to 48 hours.

Typically, the person will feel most unwell for the first couple of days after the rash appears. The rash usually disappears after 6 days.

Treatment and prevention

Vaccination is the only way to prevent measles.

People with measles should be excluded from work, school or childcare centres for at least 4 days after the appearance of the rash. Anyone who has been in contact with a person with measles and has not been vaccinated, or has any condition that compromises their immune system, should be excluded from school and childcare for 14 days from the day the rash appeared in the person diagnosed with measles.

There is no specific treatment for measles. The symptoms are usually treated with rest, plenty of fluids, and paracetamol to lessen pain or fever. Do not use aspirin for treating fever in children.

The measles virus is very contagious. A person may be infectious from about 5 days before the onset of the rash until about 4 days after the rash appears.

The virus is spread through coughing and sneezing or through direct contact with secretions from the nose or mouth.

Further information

HEALTH WARNING – Measles Outbreak

NSW Health Alert – Watch Out For Measles

NSW Health is today warning the public to be alert to the symptoms of measles after three young men were confirmed to have been in the community while infectious with measles in the last week.

Dr Vicky Sheppeard, Director of Communicable Diseases at NSW Health said that measles is highly contagious among people who are not fully immunised.

“Measles is highly infectious and is spread through coughing and sneezing. Symptoms can include fever, tiredness, runny nose, cough and sore red eyes which usually last for several days before a red, blotchy rash appears. Complications can range from an ear infection and diarrhoea to pneumonia or swelling of the brain,” Dr Sheppeard said.

She advised that the three young men (aged 25 – 35 years) have recently spent time in Earlwood, Hurlstone Park, Alexandria and Waterloo, while potentially infectious with measles. The men also visited local medical centres in Rozelle, Croydon, Rockdale as well as the Royal Prince Alfred Emergency Department while infectious during the past week.

The time from exposure to the onset of symptoms is typically around 10 days but can be as long as 21 days, so there may be other cases in the community now or people who will be developing symptoms over the next few weeks.

Dr Sheppeard advised parents of infants or other people who aren’t fully vaccinated against measles to be on the lookout for symptoms of measles.

“If symptoms develop please phone ahead when seeking medical attention to ensure you don’t share the waiting area with other patients,” Dr Sheppeard said.

“Measles is now a rare disease but it is important to emphasise it is currently circulating in the community and that people who have not had two doses of vaccine may be at risk.”

“We encourage anyone who has not previously been vaccinated to do so. Children should receive two doses of vaccine, one at 12 months and the second at 18 months. Children over 18 months who have not had their second dose of measles vaccine can be vaccinated now. Anyone born after 1966 should have two doses of vaccine (at least 4 weeks apart).”

“If you haven’t already been immunised, NSW Health offers free MMR (Measles Mumps and Rubella) vaccine through GPs for people up to 47 years of age.”

Digital Thermometers – Essential for keeping cool under pressure

digital thermometers

It’s tough for the whole family when the little ones are sick, and arming yourself with the best knowledge and tools is one way of getting through the worst of it.

Luckily Oricom can help, their non-contact or non-probe digital thermometers offer fast, safe and accurate readings with minimal risk of virus transmission.

A fever is usually the body’s way of fighting an infection and will not harm your baby, however, in some cases, it may be more serious. If you are concerned always consult a doctor.

How to take your baby’s temperature:

For the most accurate results with non-contact and non-probe thermometer, take baby’s temperature at the temple or if there is sweat present, behind the ear.

Follow the instructions for your thermometer, remembering that temperature can be affected by the way in which the reading is taken as well as environmental factors.

Normal body temperature does vary, however, your baby is considered to have a fever if they are under three months and have a temperature of 38 degrees C or more or under six months and have a temperature of 39 degrees C or more.

To find out more about the Oricom Range of Thermometers, or for a list of retailers, simply head to:

How to Deal with Anxiety and Panic

Dr. Cate Howell

We all experience feelings of anxiety regularly – it is a normal emotion, very much related to fear.

It is often about something that might happen in the future, and may be described as a feeling of impending danger. Anxiety is actually there to protect us, so that we can respond to danger when needed. But sometimes it becomes a problem when it is persistent and severe, or interfering with our daily lives. We might experience generalised anxiety and find ourselves worrying about many things consistently, or we might experience more acute episodes of panic, with heart palpitations, breathlessness, sweating, nausea or light headedness. In fact, 14.4% of Australian adults will experience significant anxiety over one year, and 1.4-2.9% will experience recurrent panic episodes.

Let’s focus on panic, as it can involve unexpected and intense fear. When talking with a client about panic, we find out more about the panic attacks and the person’s background, and we do some tests to rule out medical causes of the symptoms. We also check whether the panic attacks are leading to disability, and in particular avoidance of doing usual activities. For example, if a person has a panic attack in the car, then they might avoid driving the car, or if they have one at the shops, they may not want to go to those shops again for fear of having another one.

It is important to find out the underlying fears in panic, as some people worry that the physical symptoms are signs of illness, or that they might pass out, or even die. Some people worry about how other people are going to react when they have a panic attack, and that they might not be supportive. The first thing that can help is information, as it can relieve fear. The individual can understand what is happening in their bodies and minds, and myths such as, “I’m going to lose it,” can be debunked. There are a range of psychological treatments that can be helpful, including working with thoughts that are not helpful, and relaxation and breathing techniques. In particular, abdominal or slow breathing is helpful.

With slow breathing, put one hand on the abdomen and the other on the chest. Be aware of the air moving in through the nose or mouth and down into the chest, then be aware of it as you breathe out. Breathe into the chest and down to the abdomen, so that both hands move as you breathe (the chest and tummy move out as you breathe in). Breathe at a gentle rate with one breath taking about 5-6 seconds, so “in, two, three, out, two, three”. Take medium breaths, rather than big or small breaths, and as you become more confident, you might like to say as you breathe out, “out, relax, let go” or “out, peace, calm”.

Remember that the panic does not define who you are, and that there are times when you have taken a stand against the panic.

Some people find carrying a written card in their purse/wallet useful, with words such as; “I know this is panic and I know what to do, breathe slowly and relax, it will pass and I will be fine.” If you need some assistance, see your GP and they may suggest that you see a psychologist or counsellor. Looking after your general lifestyle (nutrition, exercise, sleep), doing yoga or tai chi, and having regular massages or reiki can help. Plus, be less critical of yourself and focus on kind thoughts about yourself which may also assist.

There are some helpful resources, including:

  • “Release Your Worries, A guide to letting go of stress and anxiety,” by C Howell and M Murphy (book and CD)
  •  See my website for further information on anxiety and upcoming webinar series on “Release Your Worries.”
  • Centre for Clinical Interventions ( provides a wide variety of mental health information and resources.
  • Clinical Research Unit for Anxiety and Depression (CRUfAD) has a wide range of information and resources.


Click here to read what Cate has to say about Post Natal Depression.


dealing with anxiety and panicDr Cate Howell OAM CSM is a medical practitioner, therapist, educator and author. She has clinics at Gilberton (moving to Myrtle Bank in December) and Goolwa, focussing on counselling, mental health and wellbeing. Cate has written two books to date; “Keeping the blues away” about depression, and “Release Your Worries” on stress and anxiety. Further information about Cate and the practices, a blog and helpful information are available on her website

Free Parenting Seminar – Breastfeeding: The Joys and Challenges

Are you a new parent or soon to be a parent?  Want to know more about breastfeeding?

Find out what’s involved and how to manage.

Come and hear about:

  • breastfeeding and how it works
  • common problems and how to manage them
  • living and working while breastfeeding
  • how partners,family and friends can help.

Babies, partners and supporters welcome

For further information contact Parenting SA

For information about breatfeeding go to

Please note: Another seminar on ‘Breastfeeding: The Joys and Challenges’ is being held on Wednesday 7 August at the Hopgood Lecture Theatre, Noarlunga

The Shape of A Mother – A Story of Taryn Brumfitt

story of a mother

Taryn Brumfitt, whose pictures showing her post-pregnancy body have gone viral, joins us with an important message about loving the way you look before and after having a baby.

The gorgeous Taryn Brumfitt is now receiving well deserved attention after sharing her journey and and encouraging us all to LOVE OUR BODIES!

She appeared on Channel Nine’s Today Show this week after the above post on Facebook reached over 2 million views!  Goes to show it’s something we can all relate to!

The Body Image Movement is a “movement” to recognise and value real beauty from the inside out. Our role is to harness and facilitate positive body image activism, this includes encouraging woman to be more accepting of who they are, to talk a positive body language (about their own bodies and others) and to prioritise their health before beauty.

Her ‘Body Lovin’ Guide eBook’ is incredible value at just $19.95 – click here to order yours now!

Plus, jump on over to her website and Facebook page and keep across all the amazing things she is doing for women around the world!

Well done Taryn, you’re a true inspiration!

Check out her Today story here:




10 Top Tips to Losing Your Baby Weight

tips to loose baby weightLife changes dramatically after we have babies and once you have adjusted to motherhood and managed to get your little one into a routine, many mums focus turns to their post baby body and what the best way is for them to lose some weight.

Firstly, the most important point to note is that no one should ever feel pressure to lose weight and although some mums feel ready to start losing weight a few months after the birth, many are not ready for a year or more after the birth. There is no one size fits all and you should only think about any weight loss when you feel 100% ready to do so – physically and mentally.

If you do decide that you want to lose some weight then it is crucial to do it in a healthy way. This means no crash diets, no drastic weigh loss, no weight loss pills and instead by following a healthy and safe weight loss plan.  If you are breastfeeding it is also important to choose a diet plan that offers you a wide range of nutrients and does not cut out food groups of severely restricts calorie intake. Breastfeeding and weight loss is possible – providing you do it in a safe way and aim for approximately 500g – 1kg a week.

So what are our top tips for post pregnancy weight loss?

1)   Find a diet plan that suits your lifestyle and be realistic with what you want to achieve and a timeframe which to achieve it

2)   If you can breastfeed, this is a great way to give your baby great nutrients and to help you burn fat. Breastfeeding also burns approximately 500 calories a day

3)   Swap all white breads, pasta and rice for wholegrain varieties

4)   Throw out junk food so you are not tempted to eat it

5)   Make sure you are eating good quality and lean protein each time you eat – think lean meats, dairy, nuts, fish, beans and tofu

6)   Start to fit in incidental exercise into your day – such as doing some squats when you make a cup of tea

7)   Make sure you are drinking enough water to keep your body hydrated and your digestion in good working order

8)   Don’t skip meals and try to eat 5-6 times a day

9)   Plan ahead so you have healthy foods to hand at all time

10) Increase your fibre which aids digestion and helps you feel fuller for longer

This article was written by Rhian Allen, Founder of Lose Baby Weight.
For more motivation, advice, recipes and safe post baby diet and exercise plans visit and for daily motivation join the Lose Baby Weight Facebook page at



Post Natal Depression – What it is and how to treat it

What is Post Natal Depression?
Post Natal Depression
New mothers and fathers naturally expect the time around childbirth to be a very happy time. They see pictures of happy parents in the media, and before the birth there isn’t a lot of sharing about the potential challenges at this time. I have seen many new mums in my practice saying that they feel guilty for not bonding immediately with their child, or for not feeling happy, when they perceive they should. However, the time after the birth is a time when both women and men are more at risk of experiencing distress, and potentially developing a problem such as post-natal depression (PND) or anxiety.

You have probably heard of or experienced the “baby blues”, which women commonly experience a few days after the birth, often related to tiredness and hormonal change. The blues may trigger tearfulness and irritability, and they settle within a couple of weeks. However, significant anxiety and depression can also develop after birth. PND occurs in up to 10–20% of all women during the first year after childbirth, and about 10% of men also experience PND. PND describes the more severe or prolonged symptoms of depression that last more than a couple of weeks and interfere with the ability to do daily tasks, or to relate to the baby or others.

Why does it develop?

PND develops because of biological and psychological factors. It is important to rule out medical causes of symptoms similar to PND, such as anemia. Biological factors might also include a genetic vulnerability to depression, previous episodes of depression, and hormone fluctuations during and after pregnancy. Childbirth and becoming a parent involves change and stress. Sometimes there can be other stresses such as financial stress, relationship stress or even grief around the same time. There may be lack of support. Fatigue is an important factor, and being sleep-deprived makes us more vulnerable to depression, as do difficulties with breastfeeding or having an unwell baby.
What are the symptoms or signs of PND?

Watch out for symptoms occurring most of the time and nearly every day for at least two weeks: sadness, depressed mood, tearfulness or irritability; loss of interest in daily activities, or enjoyment in activities usually enjoyed; loss of confidence; feelings of guilt or worthlessness; fatigue, reduced energy (beyond what typically occurs when caring for a baby); broken sleep (irrespective of the baby); change in appetite, weight loss; inability to concentrate; a sense of hopelessness; thoughts of not wanting to be alive or suicide (seek help immediately). Also notice symptoms of anxiety, such as worrying excessively about the baby, your health or feeling panicky.

How can we get some help?

If you are concerned then see your GP or health professional. They can assess whether depression or anxiety are present and offer support and advice. There are a range of treatment options, depending on the severity of the depression or anxiety, and the person’s preferences. They include:

  • Support and counselling.
  • Lifestyle changes, such as getting more sleep, doing relaxing activities, eating well, getting out for walks.
  • Cognitive-behavioural therapy or CBT (learning to be aware of thoughts and underlying beliefs that might trigger low mood, such as high expectations of yourself, wanting to be 100% perfect or in control – not possible with a baby).
  • Inter-personal therapy (IPT) and couple therapy, focussing on resolving issues such as conflict which might be contributing. Attachment-based therapy can assist with relating to the baby.
  • Practising mindfulness or being in the moment, which is relaxing and can help you enjoy your baby. There are now mindfulness-based therapies which can assist.
  • Complementary therapies.
  • Medication, such as antidepressants.

Dr Cate’s tips in relation to PND

1. Rest or sleep when you can (e.g. when your baby naps), eat well, go for walks.
2. Use relaxation techniques, meditation, mindfulness or self-hypnosis.
3. Remember that it takes time to bond with the baby, to breast-feed, to learn the role of being a mum or dad, and so lessen the expectations on yourself. Also let go of any tasks that you can, quit self-criticism, and let go of the need to be in control all of the time! Above all, be kind to yourself.
4. Seek out support from others (partners, family, friends, other mums or dads).
5. Seek out professional assistance if you are concerned. Therapy or medication may be helpful or needed.

Overall, remember that we need to be a good-enough parent and not a perfect parent. Seek out other mums or dads through community groups or websites such as this! Also have a good relationship with your GP and see a counsellor early on if you need support.

Visit for more information and feel free to contact us if you would like to.

The websites below may also be helpful.


Click here to read what Cate has to say about Anxiety and Panic.

Dr Cate Howell OAM CSM is a medical practitioner, therapist, educator and author. She has clinics at Gilberton, Belair and Goolwa, focussing on counselling, mental health and wellbeing. Cate has written two books to date; “Keeping the blues away” about depression, and “Release Your Worries” on stress and anxiety. Further information about Cate and the practices, a blog and helpful information are available on her website


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