The Ministry of Health is warning people travelling to Auckland to make sure they’re vaccinated against measles. Babies, who are particularly at risk, should be vaccinated at 12 months if they are in Auckland or travelling there. The vaccination should take place at least two weeks before travelling to allow immunity to develop.
The outbreak has spread much more quickly in the last fortnight. About a third of all cases have come in the last two weeks.
Numbers outside Auckland have been fairly low recently; other regions have had just 10 confirmed cases in the last two weeks, compared to 230 in Auckland.
- If you are showing symptoms, call a doctor – do not visit the GP as you could spread the disease
- Measles symptoms include a fever, runny nose, sore red eyes and cough, followed a few days later by a rash usually starting on the face before moving down the body
- You can have measles and spread it to other people before you start to show any symptoms or feel sick
- It can take about two weeks to be fully immune after being vaccinated
- Measles has a 90 per cent infection rate, meaning nine out of 10 non-immune people who come into contact with an infectious person contract the disease
- Measles is a serious disease, and can lead to complications including pneumonia and in rarer cases brain damage or even death
If you have questions or are unsure about your symptoms, advice Healthline offers free advice and has a translator service: 0800 611 116