Families are being urged to ensure their vaccinations are up to date as other regions deal with the measles outbreak. The Ministry of Health is reminding people that vaccination is the best protection against this serious and highly infectious virus that spreads very easily from person to person. The MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella) vaccine is free.
Measles can be life threatening: about 1 in 10 people with measles will need hospital treatment. Symptoms start with a respiratory-type of illness with dry cough, runny nose, red eyes and high temperature. The measles rash appears about five days after the start of these symptoms.
Anyone who suspects they may have measles should avoid contact with other people, and can call Healthline on 0800 611 116 or their general practice. Please notify your GP or clinic before visiting with suspected measles.
- People born before 1 January 1969 are considered immune. People born after 1 January 1969 require 2 measles vaccinations to be fully immunised.
- MMR vaccinations are scheduled at 15 months and 4 years.
- Vaccination is particularly important for those planning to travel overseas – to protect them and prevent outbreaks in New Zealand.
For more information about measles, see https://www.health.govt.nz/your-health/conditions-and-treatments/diseases-and-illnesses/measles(external link)