27 Jun 2014

Measles spreads to Taranaki

9:01 pm on 27 June 2014

Taranaki is the latest part of the country to confirm a case of the highly infectious disease measles.

Medical Officer of Health Greg Simmons says the arrival of the disease in Taranaki is not a surprise, considering the number of cases nationwide and he does not rule out the possibility of further cases.

Dr Simmons warns that measles is a very nasty illness, and that anyone not immune is at risk if they come in contact with it.

About 82 percent of Taranaki five-year-olds are immunised against measles but to prevent epidemics more than 90 percent need to be fully immunised.

Since December last year there have been more than 200 confirmed cases of measles in New Zealand. About 17 out of every 100 cases will require hospital treatment.

To have immunity, people must either have had measles or have received two doses of the MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine after the age of one.

More cases in Waikato

Health officials say the number of people in Waikato with measles has risen from 77 to 84 in the past two days.

Five Waikato schools have been confirmed as having cases of measles. They are: Fraser High, Hamilton Boys' High, Frankton Primary, Nga Taiatea Wharekura and Raglan Area School.

Six people were hospitalised, but are now well.