24 Apr 2019

Bay of Plenty measles cases rise to 10

4:36 pm on 24 April 2019

A further four cases of measles have been confirmed in Bay of Plenty, bringing the total number of cases in the region over the past month to 10.

Measles, MMR (file photo)

Measles, MMR (file photo) Photo: 123RF

In Auckland, 21 measles cases have been confirmed and there are 39 cases in Canterbury, with two more patients with suspected measles awaiting blood test results.

Bay of Plenty District Health Board medical officer Phil Shoemack said the most recent cases in the region were linked to earlier reported cases of measles, which the DHB had been trying to stop from spreading.

"We know that they're close contacts of the earlier cases that we've been tracking and keeping isolated just in case they developed the measles infection," Dr Shoemack said.

The 10 total cases involved two children and eight adults.

The first case was reported in early April and there were six cases in total a week ago.

"Measles is both very infectious, potentially serious, but so easily preventable so long as you have two doses of Measles Mumps and Rubella vaccine," Dr Shoemack said.

"It's important that parents ensure that their children receive their free routine MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) immunisations on time at 15 months and 4 years of age.

"If for any reason you have never had a dose of MMR vaccine now is the time to get one. After just one dose of MMR vaccine, about 95 percent of people will be protected from measles, and 99 per cent of people who have had both MMR doses will be protected from measles."

Measles is more common in some other countries, so people planning to travel overseas should check they have been immunised.

"If you think you or someone in your family may have measles, stay at home and phone your doctor to alert them of your symptoms and allow them to make arrangements to assess you safely and without infecting other people," he said.

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