Medical Officer of Health, Dr Rob Weir says “In total four measles cases were confirmed in MidCentral DHB during May and early June. We are now beyond the time that we would expect any further cases in connection with this outbreak.
"However, as this outbreak demonstrates, measles can occur at any time.”
A key factor in limiting the number of cases that occurred was the willingness of a lot of contacts of the cases to stay at home in isolation when they were at risk of spreading the disease further. To those contacts the Public Health Service would like to say thank you for following this action. Isolation of close contacts who may not be immune is very important with measles since the disease is infectious before you become unwell with it. By taking this step further spread is prevented.
Some people think measles is nothing to worry about. However, for every 100 cases of measles, approximately 10 will need hospital treatment, 10 will develop an ear infection and five will progress to pneumonia. About one in 1,000 people with measles die from the disease. Two of our four recent cases visited the Emergency Department or had an inpatient stay while they had measles. Measles can be particularly severe in children and those with weakened immune systems.
With the levels of immunity in the community being lower than desired, the risk of measles outbreaks remain. There are always measles cases occurring somewhere in the world – with the high level of travel today such cases can easily be introduced at any time. MMR (measles vaccination) is the single best way for you to protect yourself against measles and is free to those who need it. You can protect both yourself and the community by getting vaccinated.
Contact: Communications Unit (06) 350-8945