Chief Medical Advisor confirms no cases of measles in Taranaki


15 March 2019

There have been no cases of measles reported in Taranaki as of Thursday 14 March, 2019, Taranaki District Health Board Chief Medical Advisor Dr Greg Simmons says.

“Measles is a notifiable illness and we will let people know if it reaches the region.”

With outbreaks of the virus in other centres, people do need to be aware of the signs of measles, Dr Simmons says.

“Measles symptoms include a fever of 38.5C or higher along with a runny nose, cough, sore red eyes, followed by a rash 3-5 days later which starts on the head and spreads down the body.”

“If you think you may have measles or have been in contact with anyone who is a confirmed case you should stay away from work, school and public places to help prevent putting others at risk. Anyone with measles needs to be isolated from the time they become ill until five days after the rash has appeared.”

“You should also ring your doctor or Healthline on 0800 611116 for more advice.”

Now is also the time to consider if you are immune to measles or not.

  • Those born before 1969 are considered immune.
  • Those born in 1969 or later are considered ‘fully immunised’ against measles when they have two documented MMR vaccinations, with the first dose received when aged 12 months or older. 
  • Evidence suggests that one dose of measles or MMR vaccine protects 95 per cent of people from developing measles. The other five per cent may need a second vaccination to be fully covered.

Those who are unsure of their immunity status should get it checked. This can be done through GPs, though some people may also have physical written records at home – like a Plunket or WellChild book – which may detail their immunisations.
The Taranaki DHB recommends those who have had no measles immunisation or infection should get vaccinated.
“People need to ensure they are fully immunised as this is the best protection for themselves and others against measles,” Dr Simmons says.

More information about measles is available at www.immune.org.nz

 

 

ENDS

For more information please contact: Cressida Gates, Communications Manager, 027 703 6177.

 


 

 

 

 

 

Last updated: Friday, March 15, 2019

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