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Two more measles cases in the Waikato

Two more measles cases in the Waikato

There have been two further cases of measles notified to Waikato District Health Board's Population Health since last week.

That brings to 21 the number of confirmed cases. Of these, eight are secondary cases in un-immunised contacts.

Medical Officer of Health, Dr Anita Bell said the latest cases were in adults with possible links to Te Awamutu area.

Of the 21 cases, 20 are unimmunised and one has received only one of the two recommended doses of the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine.

"This is a testament to the effectiveness of the MMR vaccine in protecting people who are fully immunised.

"A secondary case is someone who has caught measles from a known confirmed case of measles. All secondary cases are unimmunised.

"Immunisation is the only protection from this potentially serious disease. Immunisation protects not only the individual, but also blocks the spread of this disease within our communities."

Unimmunised people who have had contact with a person with measles, will normally be advised to stay at home and away from all public places, school or work for 14 days after their contact.

Anyone born before 1969 or who has received two doses of MMR can reasonably assume they are already immune.

"If families suspect someone has measles they should call their doctor, where possible, before visiting to avoid spreading the disease while waiting. Measles is spread by tiny droplets in the air and is one of the few diseases that can spread so easily to those nearby."

Dr Bell 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. Visit www.waikatodhb.health.nz/measles for Waikato measles information.

ends

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