Measles alert

11 Sep 2019
Measles alert

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.

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. We've seen with the Auckland outbreak around 30 per cent of children requiring hospital care.

Vaccination with the MMR vaccine is the best way to protect against measles

Please be aware that nationwide the demand for vaccination is very high at the moment. We have been assured by the Ministry of Health there is no vaccine shortage, but it is evident the increased demand is causing distribution delays.
Please be patient with your practice if they are out of stock.

If you suspect you have measles, it is important to see your doctor but phone ahead first

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.