Canterbury measles outbreak: Mum's plea as toddler with cancer forced into isolation

A Canterbury mum has been moved to isolation to keep her son safe during the current measles outbreak.

Three-year-old Hugh Bath has leukaemia and is at extreme risk from the measles outbreak.

A remote hideaway in Port Levy, on Banks Peninsula, is a sanctuary for the family. The hour-and-a-half buffer between here and their home in North Canterbury could turn out to be a life-saver.

"We just can't afford to be close to people who may unknowingly or unwittingly be carrying measles and be a vector for Hugh," mum Jacqui Bath told Newshub.

The toddler has chemotherapy every day and was immunised before he was diagnosed with cancer. The chemotherapy has killed those antibodies and compromised his immune system, putting him at risk.

Measles has spread across Christchurch and Rangiora, with 25 cases confirmed and vaccines running low. The Bath family are stuck here until the outbreak dies down.

Hugh's regular treatment includes steroids, antibiotics and hospital trips. There's no room for risk.

Ms Bath is frustrated it's come down to this.

"The cancer is pretty unavoidable, but the measles isn't. If we had full herd immunity within the community, it wouldn't be spreading, it wouldn't be getting a foothold."

Her message is to get your children immunised for those who can't.