INDEPENDENT NEWS

Measles Update – 46 confirmed cases in Northland

Published: Thu 19 Sep 2019 04:32 PM
11 September, 2019
There are now 46 confirmed cases of measles in Northland, with one other case under investigation.
From 1 January 2019 to 18 September 2019 there have been 1366 confirmed cases of measles notified across New Zealand. 1120 of these confirmed cases are in the Auckland region.
The current measles outbreak has created pressure across the health system, particularly in Auckland.
Until further notice, Northland DHB and general practice are focusing on the following age groups as a priority for MMR vaccination:
• Children 12-15 months and four years (under 5 years of age)
Traveling to areas with serious measles outbreaks e.g. Auckland and overseas
If you have children under 5 who are not up to date with their scheduled MMR vaccinations, we recommend they are vaccinated at least two weeks before travel to areas where there are serious measles outbreaks.
Infants aged 6–15 months who are travelling to areas where there are serious measles outbreaks are able to get the MMR vaccine before leaving. Talk with your doctor if you are planning travel to these areas and consider not going until the measles outbreak is over.
Please note that if your child has an early MMR vaccination (before 12 months of age) they will still need another two doses at 15 months and 4 years.
Measles at schools
Children who have not been immunised or who are immunocompromised should stay away from schools where measles cases have been reported. Northland DHB Public Health Nurses will advise if this is the case.
Advice for those over 50
Because measles used to be very common, people over the age of 50 are considered immune and don’t need an immunisation.
Measles and pregnancy
Pregnant women should not get immunised against measles. If you're pregnant and think you may have measles or have come in contact with someone with measles, you should call your general practice, lead maternity carer or Healthline on 0800 611 116 as soon as possible.
Advice for Infants
Infants under 12 months old are best protected if family members, whānau and carers have had their vaccinations.
Infants 12–15 months old who live in the Auckland region are eligible for the first dose of the free MMR vaccine immediately.
Infants aged 6–15 months who are travelling to areas where there are serious measles outbreaks are able to get the MMR vaccine before leaving. Talk with your doctor if you are planning travel to these areas and consider not going until the measles outbreak is over.
Infants who do not live in the Auckland region and do not plan to travel there should receive the first dose of MMR vaccine at 15 months old as usual.
Infants aged 6 to 15 months travelling overseas should receive an early dose of the MMR vaccine at least two weeks before travelling to a country with an active measles outbreak. This includes a number of countries and regions, including Hong Kong, the United States and Canada, as well as parts of Europe and Southeast Asia.
-ENDS-

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