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Two unborn babies die after mothers catch measles

Two unborn babies die after mothers catch measles

Two pregnant women with measles have lost their babies in the latest Auckland outbreak.

Auckland health officials have been giving details of some of the complications suffered by measles patients in the outbreak, the worst in 20 years.

They said that included two foetal deaths.

The Auckland Regional Public Health service said there had been three cases of the serious brain disease encephalitis and a much higher rate of hospitalisation than other outbreaks.

The service said pregnant women were at no greater risk than the rest of the population when it came to catching measles, but if they were worried they should talk to their midwives or doctor to check whether they were immune.

Karen Bartholomew - the director of health outcomes for both the Auckland and Waitemata DHBs - said five pregnant women had been hospitalised.

Measles can cause early labour, miscarriage and low birthweight.

Most pregnant women were tested for rubella antibodies by their doctor or midwife, and most who were immune to rubella would also have immunity to measles, Dr Bartholomew said.

However any women who were worried should talk to their lead maternity carer about getting a further test, she said.

The latest outbreak had a higher rate of complications and hospitalisation than the last one in the 1990s, she said

About half of those hospitalised were under five.

Three people had been admitted to hospital for the serious condition encephalitis and 65 for pnemonia.

Health officials said they were hopeful the outbreak was peaking, with the total number of cases this year numbering 1307.

But they could not say for sure until more time had passed and there was possibility there could be flare-ups as people moved around during the school holidays.

© Scoop Media

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