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Measles Statistics Weekly Update #4 1/8/11


MEDIA UPDATE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday 1 August 2011

Measles Statistics Weekly Update #4

The Auckland Regional Public Health Service can confirm:
• 94 confirmed cases of measles in the Auckland region as of this morning
• 8 contacts are in quarantine
• Five cases have required hospitalisation during this outbreak.
• Most cases have occurred in West Auckland with some spread to Central Auckland, North Shore , and Manukau

Medical Officer of Health, Dr Richard Hoskins says, “Measles is a serious and highly infectious disease that can make people very sick. In addition to the five cases that needed hospital care, many more have visited emergency departments and had short stays. Some people with lower immunity, including children too young for immunisation and people with cancer, have been treated in hospital after contact with people with measles to help lower their risk of developing measles.

“The latest rise to 94 confirmed cases has included several cases associated with the Ranui Baptist Church , where a number of un-immunised people have developed measles.

“Almost all the cases in this outbreak have been in un-immunised people; it's testament to the of the MMR vaccine protecting people who have received it.

“Immunisation is the only protection from this potentially serious disease. By getting immunised you will not only be protecting yourself or your child, you’ll be also be stopping this disease from spreading in our communities.

“If you do come into contact with a person infected with measles, if you have not been immunised or have not had the disease, then you may be advised to be isolated; to stay at home and away from all public places, school or work for 14 days after coming into contact.

“If you suspect you or your child has measles call your doctor before visiting a waiting room as measles is highly infectious and people with measles can infect others they come in contact with.

Dr Hoskins says anyone displaying symptoms of measles, which include fever, cough, blocked nose, sore red eyes, should immediately telephone their doctor or Healthline on 0800 611 116, for advice.


ENDS


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Measles Fact Sheets
www.arphs.govt.nz/notifiable/measles.asp

Call Healthline for free health advice
Healthline (0800 611 116) is a free 24-hour telephone health information service. The service is staffed by registered nurses who will assess your health needs, and give information and advice to help you decide on the best level of care.

If you think you or someone in your care has measles
Prompt identification can help limit the spread of measles to others. If you or anyone in your care displays common symptoms such as a runny nose, cough, sore eyes and fever, followed by a raised red rash that starts on the face and moves to cover the rest of the body, seek immediate medical help – contact Healthline on 0800 611 116 or your local doctor.

Phone ahead before visiting a doctor to minimise the spread of infection to others in the waiting room. It is also important that if you suspect you may have measles, or you have had contact with someone suspected to have measles and you are not immune, that you remain in isolation to limit the spread of the disease.

How do I know if I’m immune?
People born before 1969 or who have received two doses of the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine (MMR) or who have had measles in the past are considered to be immune.

Get immunised
Immunisation is the only effective way to protect against the disease. If you or any children in your care are not up to date with immunisations, then contact your GP or practice nurse and arrange to catch up as soon as possible. MMR is given in two doses, normally at 15 months and 4 years of age giving over 95% protection. However, it’s never too late to get immunised.

More information on immunisation
For information on immunisation, phone the Immunisation Advisory Centre free on 0800 IMMUNE (0800 466 863) or visit them at www.immune.orgnz.

Interpreters
Healthline’s Language Line operates Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm. When you call Healthline during these hours, the nurse or call handler can usually arrange for an interpreter. Outside these hours Healthline uses other interpreter services as far as possible. It is not always possible to locate an interpreter in a particular language at short notice.


ENDS

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