Measles spreads to Mt Maunganui

The Bay of Plenty public is warned to be on the alert after a case of measles was confirmed in Mt Maunganui. There are still cases of measles in Christchurch and Auckland.

Measles is a highly infectious viral illness spread person to person through the air by breathing, sneezing or coughing.

"The first early symptoms of measles are fever, runny nose, sore red eyes and cough," says Dr Jim Miller, Medical Officer of Health for Toi Te Ora Public Health.

"After three to five days a red, blotchy rash appears on the face and head and then spreads down the body."

Measles can be serious, with around one in 10 people who get it needing to be hospitalised.

The Government has strongly advised parents to immunise children as they are "at the greatest risk from the disease", adding that it's "important to make sure you and your family are up to date with their immunisations".

"Measles is highly contagious, and it is in everyone's best interest that people in these priority groups get vaccinated - both to protect themselves and the wider community."

Anyone who suspects they may have measles has been advised to avoid contact with other people, and to call Healthline on 0800 611 116 or to call you GP. The Government said calls to GPs after hours will be answered by a nurse who will advise what to do.

"If you are not sure that you're immune to measles or don't know if you have had two doses of the MMR vaccine, talk to your doctor and get immunised," Health Minister Dr David Clark says.


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