I SHOULD like your readership to be aware of the recent presence of chickenpox in both children and adults.
I have not personally seen acute chickenpox for several years.
I have seen a primary school student this week whose mother reported several cases at the school.
Despite routine immunisation at 18 months, the infection can still occur in a milder form with fewer spots, however these cases remain contagious to non-immune individuals.
The virus can be shed from the throat and spread two days before the rash occurs.
Patients on immunotherapies for cancer and other diseases are at risk of severe varicella should they contract the virus.
Chickenpox infection in early pregnancy can harm organ development in the child, while at the end of pregnancy risks the baby being born with severe infection.
Children are susceptible up to the age of immunisation at 18 months.
This is a timely reminder of the importance of the childhood immunisation schedule in limiting the spread of, and serious complications from, various infectious diseases.
Luckily we have excellent compliance rates in this part of Victoria.
In the event of suspected contact between an infected and non-immune person, please contact your GP clinic for advice on isolation, to contain community spread.
Dr Eric Van Opstal, Ararat
Pick project funding
People from across Ararat Rural City and Northern Grampians Shire have a unique opportunity to pick local projects and ideas that will transform their local community.
Pick My Project is a new way of funding community projects and it allows every member of the community to have a direct say.
The state government has provided $30 million for Pick My Project, which has been divided between the six metropolitan and nine regional partnership areas.
Project ideas with the most votes in each area will be invited to enter into a funding agreement for their project, with between $20,000 and $200,000 available for each project idea.
In the local area, there are a heap of great projects on offer, including rejuvenation of Buangor’s tennis courts, new shaded areas for Ararat West Primary School, replacement of the scoreboard at Great Western Reserve and increasing the roof height at Stawell Gymnastics Club.
I urge readers to have a say and help deliver a great project for the region.
Voting is open to every resident over the age of 16 and a full list of projects and registration can be found at www.pickmyproject.com.au
Western Victoria is already an amazing place to live, work and visit and I believe Pick My Project will make our region even better.
Voting is open until 5pm on Monday, September 17.
Jaala Pulford, Member for Western Victoria
IT IS with great sadness that I write this letter with regards to our grand town hall in Ararat.
After watching the news and seeing the newspaper, I wonder what direction this town is taking in providing us, the ratepayers, with facilities.
The massive amounts of money spent recently to refurbish the interior of our glorious town hall is a prime example.
Perhaps the council could have engaged the services of the local primary school children and achieved a better result with the colour scheme and design.
Many towns I choose to visit take pride in their heritage, but we seem to want to destroy any heritage this town has.
We had a functional town hall that I do agree needed upgrading, but whoever approved the style chosen for the interior needs to visit an eye specialist.
Tears formed when I learned those grand staircases were removed, but now I have seen the big picture, my heart sinks.
I have had many wonderful times in that town hall over the past 55 years.
As a previous mayoress of this beautiful town, with its beautiful gardens, I was privileged and honoured to attend many wonderful functions and learn so much about the history of the building. Now what did remain is gone.
Ararat Rural City Council needs to consult more people than those in that box across the road, because the flaws in their recent improvements leave a lot to be desired.
The Alexandra Oval clubrooms is another prime disappointment to ratepayers.
My words might fall on deaf ears, but I know I have many supporters.
Young people can gain from wonderful old things, too – like me – or old buildings that are maintained in the glory they deserve.
The Ararat gardens are one example and are a credit to the garden staff – well done.
Perhaps the Ararat council might take a leaf from Ballarat and Bendigo’s book – perfect examples of keeping their historic treasures.
I love Ararat and am proud to live here. Please everybody take pride because we are lucky.
Kaye McLoughlin, Ararat