Due the significant increase in reported measles cases in Auckland and Counties Manukau we would like to pass on some important information from the Counties Manukau District Health Board.
In Auckland and Counties Manukau, older children and adults aged up to 50 years who have no documented evidence of vaccination against measles are recommended to get vaccinated. Two doses of MMR vaccine are free for eligible people, however practices may need to defer appointments for those seeking a second dose..
A person who has been given one dose of the MMR vaccine has a 95 percent chance of being immune to the virus. More than 99 percent of people who receive two MMR doses (given at least four weeks apart, and the first dose given after age 12 months) develop immunity to measles.
Almost everyone aged 50 or older had measles as a child and is therefore immune. 90 percent of people in their 30s and 40s are immune. Teenagers and young adults are least likely to have been immunised as young children. If you’re not sure of your vaccination history, you can check your Well Child/Tamariki Ora (or Plunket) book, or ask your general practice.
- Measles is highly contagious, but can be prevented through timely vaccination.
- If you have been exposed to measles, but don’t have symptoms, you should immediately get vaccinated (if you are between 12 months and 50 years and have not already had at least one MMR vaccination).
- If you are aged between 12 months and 50 years and are unsure whether or not you have received a vaccine previously, it’s fine to have an MMR vaccine.
- People aged 50 years and over are assumed to be immune to measles as they are likely to have contracted it as a child.
- If you think you have measles, please contact your doctor. Phone ahead to advise you are coming so they can put you in isolation on arrival.
- If you think you have been exposed to measles and are concerned either speak with your doctor or call Healthline 0800 611 116.
- The measles vaccine is free. General Practices may charge you an administration fee.
- Going to the GP is free for under 14 year olds.
Measles symptoms include a high fever, runny nose, cough and sore red eyes, followed several days later by a rash starting on the face and neck before spreading to the rest of the body. Someone with measles can spread it to others from five days before the rash appears until five days after.
The best protection against measles is vaccination.
For more information, please visit the ARPHS website: https://www.arphs.health.nz/