Measles has been confirmed in one of the two people who visited Gisborne last Monday and Tuesday (26 and Tuesday 27 August), says Hauora Tairāwhiti Medical Officer of Health Dr Margot McLean.
“The two young adults are both showing signs of measles. The pair spent time in the Gisborne City centre between 11am and 3 pm last Monday, and were briefly in Matawai on Tuesday before leaving the district on Wednesday.”
“The activities of the pair while they were in Gisborne have been retraced by our public health team. The people that they had close contact with have been contacted and given advice. One person is now in quarantine and will be until next week.”
Dr McLean strongly urges anyone over 15 months and under 50 years, who are not yet vaccinated against measles, to contact their Medical Centre and arrange to get the Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccine as soon as possible. “This is the best possible way to protect your whanau and our community from measles. Vaccination is free for anyone who has not had two MMRs. One vaccination will provide 95% protection against measles.”
It looks like people are listening to this call. Since the message went out that two people with possible measles has been our area, more people are contacting their Medical Centre to enquire about vaccinations. “We are currently looking at supporting primary care with additional nursing staff to help over the weekend. over the weekend,” says Dr McLean.
“While measles is now rampant in Auckland, we still have the opportunity to prevent a similar outbreak here. If we can get 95% immunisation coverage, we will achieve “herd immunity’ making a community-wide outbreak less likely.”
“A group has been set up to manage our response to the measles threat. As usual, if you or your children are heading off to sports or other large gatherings around the country, the advice is to ensure you are immunised before you go.”
“If you suspect that you, or someone in your whanau, could have measles, contact your health centre by telephone or ring Healthline on 0800 611 116 for advice. Do not visit any health centres without calling ahead, so that they can arrange for you to be kept apart from other patients. For further information or clarification please do not hesitate to contact your Public Health Nurse phone 0800 935 524 or Population Health 06 869 1311, or visit Ministry of Health www.moh.govt.nz/measles