People are being urged to ensure their children are up to date
with their immunisations.
Since the start of the year there have been about 120 cases of
measles in New Zealand with the majority of these being in
Toi Te Ora medical officer of Health Dr Phil Shoemack said there
was concern measles could spread to the Bay of Plenty and Lakes
during the school holidays.
"It is a good time to check that you and your children are up to
date with immunisations in general and the MMR (measles, mumps and
rubella) immunisation in particular, especially if planning to
travel within New Zealand or overseas during the school holiday
period," Dr Shoemack said.
The MMR immunisation is usually given at 15 months and again at
4 years of age as part of the routine childhood immunisations.
Because measles used to be quite common people born before 1969
are likely to be immune and they do not need the MMR. Those born
from 1969 onwards who are unsure of their immunity should check
with their doctor to see if they need to catch up on the MMR
immunisation, Dr Shoemack said.
"School holidays can also be a convenient time for many families
to catch up with their immunisations. Contact your family doctor or
practice nurse if you or your child needs to be immunised."
Measles usually begins with a runny nose, fever and sore eyes.
This is followed by a red, blotchy rash that usually starts on the
face and spreads to the rest of the body. "Measles is highly
infectious and complications are quite common. These include
diarrhoea, ear infections and, more rarely and seriously, pneumonia
and brain inflammation."
If you think you or your child may have measles; stay at home
and phone your doctor or Healthline on 0800 611 116 for advice.
Because measles is easily spread, it's very important that if you
think you have measles you ring your doctor before visiting their
practice. This allows your doctor to make arrangements for you to
be seen without the risk of infecting others in the waiting