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

 

Canterbury Measles Outbreak

Canterbury Measles Outbreak

The following can be attributed to Violet Clapham, Chair of the NZCOM Canterbury/West Coast Region

The College is liaising very closely with the Canterbury District Health Board (CDHB), Community and Public Health specialists and of course our member midwives.

The three main groups this statement relates to are; pregnant women, women with newborn babies, and midwives:

Pregnant Women:
If you're pregnant and think you have come into contact with someone with measles, and aren’t sure if you’re immune, you should speak to your midwife and see your general practitioner (GP) as soon as possible.

Generally speaking, most women of childbearing age in New Zealand have been immunised as a child against measles. Women who are unsure of their immunisation status can seek advice from their GP.

If a pregnant women is not immune, and contracts measles during pregnancy, she may be at increased risk of miscarriage, premature labour, or a low birthweight baby. These effects are not common however it is important to be aware of this.

If you contract measles during pregnancy, your midwife will discuss with you how to access additional care during your pregnancy to monitor your baby’s wellbeing, and to ensure follow up care for your baby after he or she is born. It is very important to avoid contact with others while you are infectious with the measles. Please make contact with healthcare providers by telephone in the first instance.



As the MMR (Measles Mumps Rubella) vaccine is a live weakened vaccine, it is not advisable to receive this vaccine while pregnant.

Mums with Newborns:
Breastfeeding can provide passive immunity to babies. Breastfeeding is strongly encouraged, especially for babies under 12 months of age, as this can provide protection against measles.
Note: Passive immunity is the passing of antibodies from an immune person to a non-immune person, providing temporary protection against disease-causing bacteria or viruses. Maternal antibodies are transferred to a baby in utero (via the placenta) and through breastfeeding (via colostrum and breastmilk).


The MMR vaccine is usually offered twice during childhood, at around 15 months, and four years of age. However, in Canterbury it is currently being offered earlier (due to the outbreak). Children are now being offered the first dose of MMR immunisation at 12 months of age. The second dose can also be offered earlier, but no sooner than four weeks after the previous one.

If you are concerned that your baby has been exposed to measles before they have had their MMR vaccine, see your GP and speak to your midwife as soon as possible.

Midwives:
Generally speaking, most women of childbearing age in New Zealand have been immunised against measles as a child. Women who are unsure of their immunisation status can seek advice from their GP.

If a pregnant woman is known to have been exposed to someone who has been diagnosed with measles, please advise her to contact her general practice team immediately who can organise administration of immunoglobulin to provide protection. Immunoglobulin can be given to non-immune pregnant women (and is effective) up to 6 days after exposure to a confirmed case – not during the illness. Information about this process is available on Health Pathways.

On Friday 15 March, from 11am-2pm at NZCOM House, 376 Manchester Street, MMR immunisation will be available for midwives aged 29-50 years of age. As measles is highly contagious before symptoms occur, and midwives are working in the community, the DHB considers them to be a priority group for vaccination.


General - Signs and symptoms of measles
• Respiratory style illness (cough, runny nose, headache) or conjunctivitis in both eyes, and
• Temperature over 38.5 degree Celsius and feeling very unwell, and
• A red blotchy rash that starts on day four / five of the illness, usually on the face and moving to the chest and arms.
• Measles is infectious for four to five days before and for four-five days after the symptoms first show.


Clinical advice for health practitioners is available through Health Pathways, (a website based health hub), and for the general population through HealthInfo.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Howard Davis:
Entre-Deux-Guerres - Aldous Huxley's Crome Yellow - Pt I

Aldous Huxley's first novel, published in 1921, is a desiderium of a peculiarly English class of aristocrats and intellectuals who lived in an era that withered away a century ago. More>>


Joseph Cederwall: WOMAD - Love Will Lead Us Home

The events of Friday, moments before the gates opened cast an entirely different shadow over the festival and highlight the importance of such events as a way of growing closer together. More>>

Howard Davis: The Puzzling Poetic Praxis of J.H. Prynne - Pt II

Given the historical and socio-cultural context from which Prynne's poetry emerged, a panoptical perspective on what his poems might be trying to say is indispensable to its comprehension. With some sequences this can be an exceptionally demanding challenge, requiring a great deal of perseverance, concentration, and endurance. More>>

Truth And Beauty: 2019 Ockham Book Award Finalists

The Cage by Lloyd Jones, This Mortal Boy by Fiona Kidman, All This By Chance by Vincent O’Sullivan, and The New Ships by Kate Duignan are shortlisted for the $53,000 Acorn Foundation Fiction Prize. More>>

ALSO:

Measles: Two Measles Cases Notified In Auckland

Auckland Regional Public Health Service (ARPHS) is asking people who may have been exposed to measles in three public locations to be alert to symptoms. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • CULTURE
  • HEALTH
  • EDUCATION
 
 
  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland