FOR the past week Redbank Plains mum Kayley Burke has watched in horror as chicken pox spread across her baby boy's body.
Baby Elijah is only 11 months old so unlike his older sister Kaliah, 3, who also has mild chicken pox, he's too young to be vaccinated.
Since Friday Elijah has been crying and trying to scratch the sores that now cover his entire head.
LISTEN: Mum Kayley Burke tells parents "vaccinate your children"
For Kayley, it's every mother's nightmare to watch her child suffering, knowing there's little she can do to help.
She's calling on other parents to make sure their children's vaccinations are up to date given her daughter, who is vaccinated, has only a few sores while baby Elijah is covered head to toe in pox.
Today Elijah was admitted to Ipswich Hospital after he stopped drinking his bottle.
Mum Kayley, who also has the chicken pox so badly the sores have spread down her throat, assumed drinking was hurting him too much.
"It's horrible I can't think of anything worse (than watching him go through this)," Kayley said.
"I'm very annoyed that he's sick. I'm a strong believer in vaccinations and I'm sure if he was old enough to have the shot he wouldn't be so sick."
Baby Elijah will spend tonight in hospital being treated for a secondary infection.
When Kayley found out, she took to Facebook to express her frustrations writing, "bottom line, if you don't vaccinate your kids you're a bloody idiot."
"Think about the risk you are putting on other helpless kids that are too young or who can't actually be vaccinated."
Ipswich Hospital Director of Paedeatrics Dr John Gavranich said in the most extreme cases, a chicken pox infection for babies like Elijah could lead to brain and lung infections.
He says while chicken pox is "highly infectious", it's also becoming less common as more people are vaccinated.
"The only way of reducing the risk is ensuring as many people as possible are vaccinated," Dr Gavranich said.
"It is a... preventable illness and we should have high rates of vaccination."
He said for groups most at risk; infants, pregnant women, people undergoing chemotherapy and those with a low immune system, there can be complications from the chicken pox.
Those include a severe bacterial infection where the sores spread to other organs in the body and, in extreme cases, the infection can spread to vital organs such as the brain and lungs.
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