News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search

 


Immunisation Week prompts timely measles reminder

Immunisation Week prompts timely measles reminder

With measles continuing to spread through Auckland, Immunisation Week is a timely reminder to parents to check their children’s immunisation status.

The best protection from measles is receiving two doses of the MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine. While one of this week’s themes is ensuring children get immunised ‘on time, every time,’ Auckland Regional Public Health Service (ARPHS) says it is never too late to catch up on any immunisations that may have been missed.

105 people in Auckland have caught measles so far this year, with 21 requiring hospital treatment. Most cases have been in the 10-19 age group – an age group where people are less likely to be fully immunised (or immune from having had measles before widespread immunisation).

Medical Officer of Health Dr Richard Hoskins says the most frustrating aspect of this outbreak was that it could have been prevented if more people were immunised.

“Measles is highly infectious. When it finds its way into areas with low immunisation rates, it spreads rapidly – as seen on the North Shore, where 52 cases are linked to Westlake Boys High School.

“While the Westlake outbreak is now over, we are still seeing 1-2 ‘sporadic’ cases (cases with no known link to other cases) a week. Several of these people have gone on to infect others, particularly household members and waiting room contacts.”

Measles can be a very serious illness, says Dr Hoskins, with one in three experiencing complications such as ear infections, pneumonia, bronchitis or diarrhoea. While one in 10, on average, requires hospitalisation, admission rates in this outbreak have been higher.
Current MMR recommendations are:

· All children from age 15 months who have not had one dose of MMR should receive this as soon as possible.

· All children should receive their second dose at four years of age, or at least 28 days after the first dose.

· All adults born after January 1969 who are not recorded as immunised, or who have only had one measles vaccination, should receive one dose of MMR as soon as possible, with a second dose at least 28 days later for those who had no previous MMR.

· If in doubt, vaccinate. If medical records cannot be located, and there is any uncertainty as to whether someone has received two doses, an MMR can be given with no added risk.

· Immunisation is free.

Dr Hoskins urges parents to check with their GP that they, and their children, are fully up to date with their vaccinations. “It is never too late to catch up – and there is no better time than right now.”
ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Scoop Review Of Books: Rushing For Gold

The first section focuses particularly on the Victorian connections – commercial, legal, mining and personal, including migration statistics. But for me the most interesting chapters were in the middle sections about the people of the goldfields. More>>

Comedy Festival Review: VOTE BATT

The political campaigning in the US over the last eight months or so has provided a stark insight into how far political candidates are willing to go. This background came into focus as “former comedian” – now politician – Tim Batt ushered people up into the front seats, passing out badges and taking photographs with his not entirely adoring public... More>>

HRH QEII's 90th: New Zealand Post Birthday Stamps Fit For A Queen

New Zealand Post is celebrating the Queen’s 90th birthday with a special series of stamps and a limited edition silver coin. The Queen was born on 21 April 1926. To mark her birthday, New Zealand Post has produced ‘lenticular’ or moving stamps that feature nine different images of the Queen on just three stamps. More>>

ALSO:

Anzac Day: A Time To Stand Against Hatred

The Human Rights Commission says ANZAC Day is a time for New Zealanders to remember those things our grandparents stood for and stand up against intolerance and prejudice. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Health
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news