Measles case closes Levin schools
A Horowhenua high school and Levin Intermediate have been forced shut for the day as a measles outbreak spreads. Each has one confirmed case.
Dozens of cases have been confirmed in Waikato, Northland and Nelson after one person caught the virus at a kapa haka festival in Hamilton.
The principal of Waiopehu College in Levin, Mark Robinson, says one student at the school has come down with the virus. Both schools have had one confirmed case each.
"We've actually closed the school for today, we've got parents and caregivers coming into school through the day bringing in proof of two MMR vaccinations… and as long as we see that, and photocopy that for the District Health Board, then those students will be fit to come to school on Monday."
"Unvaccinated students or students that can't provide proof of vaccination will not be able to return to school until Monday May 30."
The school has been in contact with the boy's family and says he's no longer got a rash and is doing well.
MidCentral District Health Board medical officer Dr Rob Weir said the Levin and Waikato outbreaks were connected.
Last month Waikato DHB issued an alert after infectious sufferers attended a regional kapa haka festival with about 5000 attendees from throughout the North Island.
Dr Weir said although the Levin closures would create disruption, the DHB and schools were doing everything possible to stop the disease spreading.
"Measles is a very infectious disease so anyone who is not immune to measles is at risk if they come in to contact with the disease," he said.
Measles starts with a fever and usually a cough or runny nose, and perhaps sore, red eyes before the rash appears. One in 10 people needs hospital treatment.