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Suspect measles case tests negative

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The suspect measles case associated with Riverdale School has tested negative, with the total number of cases within the MDHB District remaining at 21.

​“We have been in contact with the school to advise them of the result” says Dr Patrick O’Connor, Medical Officer of Health. 

“The school has been working hard over recent weeks to ensure that their own Immunisation Register is up-to-date.

“This makes our job so much easier,” he says.

“Having the up-to-date information on hand for our public health nurses to work through means the process is much quicker, with less disruption for the school community.

“While on this occasion the suspect case did not have measles, the effort has certainly not been wasted, as the school is well prepared to respond to future cases,” Dr O’Connor says.

“We have been very pleased with the cooperation we have received from all of the schools involved in the current outbreak, which is now its seventh week.”

Despite the good news locally, the Ministry of Health advises that people travelling during the holidays, and children attending events or school camps, run the risk of contracting measles and then bringing it home with them.

Immunisation is the best protection for you and your family, and also helps protect the wider community. 

The measles vaccine is free for all New Zealanders who need it. You need two doses of the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine to be fully immunised. 

Anyone who is not vaccinated and gets exposed to a case of measles will need to stay home for at least 14 days to ensure the virus doesn't spread. 

Children are usually vaccinated at 15 months and four years of age. 

Those unsure of their vaccination status can check Well Child Tamariki Ora or Plunket books, or contact their General Practice. If in doubt, just get vaccinated – it’s free, and getting an extra vaccination doesn’t do any harm.

Dr O’Connor said: “If you think you might have measles I recommend you contact your GP (by phone first) or Healthline on 0800 611 116 for more advice. It is very important you tell your GP that you think you might have measles before going in to the surgery.”

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