21 March 2019
The number of measles cases in Canterbury has risen to 34, with a further five cases under investigation.
Canterbury medical officer of health Dr Ramon Pink says measles continues to spread in Canterbury.
“We’ve had another four confirmed cases this week and we’re concerned that numbers are tracking upwards,” says Dr Pink.
Dr Pink says Canterbury’s young people are being hit hardest by measles.
“Twenty-two of our 34 cases have occurred in people aged 28 and younger. This group is particularly susceptible to
measles, and we need to increase vaccination uptake amongst this group if we’re to stop the spread of measles.”
GP teams are focusing on those who need the vaccine most – people aged between 12 months and 28 years who have never
Dr Pink says the measles virus is incredibly infectious.
“In most cases we’ve been able to identify the confirmed case who has spread measles to contacts in the same household,
school or workplace. But for some cases we haven’t been able to identify any links, indicating that measles is spreading
in the community.
“We’re asking people who are unwell with measles-like symptoms, or who have never been vaccinated, to stay away from
large gatherings. There is enough for our community to be dealing with right now without adding more illness.”
The symptoms of measles are a cough or runny nose or conjunctivitis, and a fever above 38.5 C, and a rash.
If you think you may have been exposed to measles or have symptoms, please call your general practice first, 24/7. Calls
made to general practices after hours will be answered by a nurse who will advise you what to do and where to go if you
need to be seen.
Canterbury District Health Board
Canterbury District Health Board (CDHB) is a Christchurch, New Zealand based hospital and healthcare provider for the
Canterbury region of New Zealand. Our region extends from Kekerengu in the North, to Rangitata in the South and Arthurs
Pass in the West and comprises the six Territorial Local Authorities of Kaikoura, Hurunui, Waimakariri, Christchurch
City, Selwyn and Ashburton.
We collaborate with other health and disability organisations, stakeholders and our community to decide what health and
disability services are needed and how to best use the funding we receive from Government to improve, promote and
protect the health, wellbeing and independence of our population.
At the Canterbury DHB, our vision is to improve the health and wellbeing of people living in Canterbury.