Protect yourselves and your loved ones from measles

The number of confirmed cases of measles in Hawke’s Bay stands at 16, to date this year.   

Hawke’s Bay District Health Board Medical Officer of Health Dr Rachel Eyre said all 16 cases had been contact traced by the public health unit, who would continue to work swiftly upon notification of any future cases to minimise risk of spread in the Hawke’s Bay community.  

 “It is extremely important that parents of young children due for their normal schedule of the Measles Mumps and Rubella (MMR) immunisations remember to book these in with their GP to ensure they have the best chance of protection,” she said. 

Dr Eyre said the MMR vaccine was free and offered to children on the immunisation schedule at 15 months and 4 years.

Two vaccines gives the best protection against Measles, Mumps and Rubella. 

“If anyone is unsure of their immune status, they are strongly encouraged to check their records with their GP.” 

Measles is a serious, highly infectious, potentially life-threatening disease that spreads easily via coughing and sneezing. Symptoms include a fever of 38.5C or higher along with a runny nose, cough, sore red eyes, followed by a rash three to five days later which starts on the head and spreads down the body. 

If you are feeling unwell and you think it might be measles, please stay at home and phone your doctor to avoid spreading the illness.  Your doctor will make the necessary arrangements to assess you safely without infecting other people.  You can also call Healthline for free advice on 0800 611 116. 

The Immunisation Advisory Centre also has up-to-date information about measles immunity and the MMR vaccine on their website: www.immune.org.nz/hot-topic/measles-overseas-and-new-zealand or visit www.ourhealthhb.nz

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