Think Measles - there could be cases in our community

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There is Measles outbreak in countries  globally, several cases have appeared in New Zealand and potentially a huge threat. Measles is a highly infectious disease that is easily spread from an infected person by saliva or mucous droplets when coughing, sneezing or talking. Just being in the same room as someone with measles can lead to infection if you are not immunised.

What do you need to know?

  1. Measles is highly contagious. One person with measles can pass on the disease to 13 other people who have not been immunised.

  2. A person with measles is infectious from 5 days before and until 5 days after the rash appears (about 10 days in total). During this time the infected person needs to stay away from other people; children need to be kept home from school and adults from work, do not invite other children or visitors to your house.

  3. Measles can cause serious complications including diarrhoea, ear infections, pneumonia and swelling of the brain. About 1 in 10 people with measles will need hospital treatment.

  4. Measles during pregnancy increases the risk of miscarriage, early labour and low birth-weight babies. 

  5. Vaccination with the Measles Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccine is the best way to protect against measles. You need 2 doses to be fully immunised. MMR vaccines are free for all children, and any adults who have not previously received two doses of MMR. See you General for more information.

If you think you may have measles, prevent the spread to others by;

  • Staying away from work, school or anywhere other people are gathering, so you do not infect others.

  • Phone your General Practice (GP) before visiting – they will tell you what you need to do.

  • You will be infectious from five days before and until five days after the rash appears.

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