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Confirmed Measles case infectious while at Auckland event

Media Release

5 November, 2019


A Northland person with a confirmed case of Measles attended an event in Auckland, while infectious, over the labour weekend. This latest case brings the number of confirmed cases of measles in Northland to 91.

They attended an event on Sunday 27 October at Studio the Venue in Auckland, and may have passed measles onto other people there.

Northland medical officer of health, Dr Catherine Jackson, advises anyone at this venue on Sunday, October 27 should watch for signs and symptoms of measles. Measles starts a bit like the flu with fevers, cough, runny nose, and sore red eyes with a rash appearing on day 3-5.

“You are most at risk if you’re not immune to measles, either because you haven’t been vaccinated or you haven’t had the disease previously. People who are not immune may start experiencing symptoms over the next week," Dr Jackson says. “Immunisation with MMR is strongly recommended for anyone under 30 years of age who is unsure of their immunisation status and is free from your GP.”

Anyone over the age of 50 years is considered immune as they would have been exposed to the virus as a child.

If you were at the venue but are unsure whether you’re immune to measles, talk to your doctor or call Healthline on 0800 611 116 for advice.

Measles is a highly infectious airborne disease that spreads easily through the air via coughing and sneezing.

If you do start to develop symptoms that could be measles, ring ahead to your doctor or Emergency Department and let them know you may have Measles – this is to prevent potentially infecting others in the waiting room.

Vaccination with the MMR vaccine offers the best protection against measles. One dose will prevent measles in 95 percent of people, while having two doses will protect 99 percent of people who have the vaccine.

Children and adults in Whangarei can get a free MMR vaccine at the Child Wellbeing Hub at 22b Commerce Street on Tuesdays and Thursdays, no appointment needed.

For more information about measles, visit the Northland DHB website , Auckland Regional Public Health website, or the Ministry of Health website.

Measles at schools

Children who have not been immunised or who are immunocompromised should stay away from schools where measles cases have been reported.

Advice for those between 15 and 29 years old

If you are between the ages of 15 and 29, you should check your immunisation records to make sure you received two doses of the MMR vaccine as a child. If you didn’t receive two doses, or can’t confirm whether you did or not, you should visit a clinic for a free measles vaccine.

Advice for those over 50

Because measles used to be very common, people over the age of 50 are considered immune and don’t need an immunisation.

Measles and pregnancy

Pregnant women should not get immunised against measles. If you're pregnant and think you may have measles or have come in contact with someone with measles, you should call your general practice, lead maternity carer or Healthline on 0800 611 116 as soon as possible.

Advice for Infants

Infants under 12 months old are best protected if family members, whānau and carers have had their vaccinations.

Infants 12–15 months old who live in the Auckland region are eligible for the first dose of the free MMR vaccine immediately.

Infants 12–15 months old who will be travelling to the Auckland region should be taken to a clinic for a free dose of the MMR vaccine at least two weeks before travelling to build immunity.

Infants who do not live in the Auckland region and do not plan to travel there should receive the first dose of MMR vaccine at 15 months old as usual.

Infants aged 6 to 15 months travelling overseas should receive an early dose of the MMR vaccine at least two weeks before travelling to a country with an active measles outbreak. This includes a number of countries and regions, including Hong Kong, the United States and Canada, as well as parts of Europe and Southeast Asia.

-ENDS-

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