19 Jun 2019

Measles cases hit 215 across New Zealand

4:49 pm on 19 June 2019

More than 200 cases of measles have been confirmed in New Zealand since the start of this year, with the majority in Auckland.

Pediatrician makes vaccination to small boy

Photo: 123rf.com

The latest ESR report shows 215 cases of the highly infectious virus have been confirmed - 115 of those are in Auckland.

Ministry of Health director of public health Caroline McElnay said because of the high numbers, one-year-old children in Counties Manukau, Auckland and Waitemata DHBs should receive their first MMR early.

From last week, health authorities in Auckland started giving out the measles vaccine at one year instead of 15 months, in an effort to curb the region's outbreak of the disease.

Read more on the measles outbreaks:

The report shows that nationwide, 26 children under 15 months have been hospitalised.

In the 10-29 age group, 99 cases have been confirmed.

The vast majority of cases were either not vaccinated or their vaccination status was unknown.

Measles facts:

  • Measles is a highly infectious viral illness spread by contact with respiratory secretions through coughing and sneezing.
  • People are infectious from five days before the onset of the rash to five days after the rash starts.
  • Infected persons should stay in isolation - staying home from school or work - during this time.
  • The best protection from measles is to have two MMR vaccinations. MMR is available from your family practice and is free to eligible persons.
  • People are considered immune if they have received two doses of MMR vaccine, have had a measles illness previously, or were born before 1969.
  • Anyone believing they have been exposed to measles or exhibiting symptoms, should not go to the ED or after hours' clinic or general practitioner. Instead, call the GP first.

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