Two measles cases have been confirmed in Aotearoa in the week of 1-7 May. Although the cases are currently confined to Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland, it is highly likely that this will soon become a national issue.
View exposure events where members of the public were at risk of catching measles.
Measles is a highly infectious disease that is easily spread from an infected person by saliva or mucous droplets when coughing, sneezing or talking. Just being in the same room as someone with measles can lead to infection if you are not immunised.
The symptoms of measles can include a fever, cough, runny nose and sore and watery ‘pink’ eyes. These are followed by a blotchy rash.
A person with measles is infectious from 5 days before and until 5 days after the rash appears (about 10 days in total). During this time the infected person needs to stay away from other people; children need to be kept home from school and adults from work, do not invite other children or visitors to your house.
Measles can cause serious complications including diarrhoea, ear infections, pneumonia and encephalitis (swelling of the brain). About 10 per cent of people with measles will need hospital treatment. In the 2019 measles outbreak more than 30 percent of those infected with measles were admitted to hospital.
In the 2019 measles outbreak in Tāmaki Makarau we saw tamariki hospitalised with measles and extremely ill.
Vaccination with the MMR vaccine is the best way to protect against measles.
It’s a good time to get prepared and it’s easy to protect your whānau/loved ones – get your free measles vaccine today from your doctor or pharmacist.
Not sure if you’ve had the measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine? It’s safe to get it again from your doctor.
People are considered immune if they have received two doses of measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine, have had a measles illness previously, or were born before 1969 (when there was a lot of measles circulating in Aotearoa).
This helps to ensure people with measles do not end up sitting in a waiting room, potentially spreading the illness to others.
You can get free health advice from a registered nurse 24 hours a day from Healthline on 0800 611 116 if you have any questions, or for more information we encourage you to visit the Health Navigator NZ site.