The number of measles cases in Canterbury remains at 28, with 12 under investigation.
Canterbury Medical Officer of Health Dr Ramon Pink says it is pleasing measles numbers haven’t increased over the past 24 hours.
“Measles is incredibly infectious and numbers can easily skyrocket. This can be put down to the great response of Cantabrians and our health professionals, and our high levels of community immunity.”
“But we can’t be complacent. Measles is a very serious illness and the only way to prevent its spread is immunisation.”
Dr Pink says 27,000 doses of the MMR vaccine have arrived in Canterbury this week.
“We have enough vaccines to immunise those who need it most – people aged between 12months and 28 years who have never been immunised.”
Over time the vaccine will be made available to other priority groups.
Dr Pink says people born after 1969 who have never been immunised, or who have measles-like symptoms, should stay away from large events or gatherings.
“Those who are susceptible to measles need to be aware that it is circulating in our community. Unvaccinated people can easily catch measles if they are in close contact with infectious people, so staying away from large groups helps protect yourself and others.”
The symptoms of measles symptoms are a cough or runny nose or conjunctivitis, and a fever above 38.5 C, and a rash.
If you think you may have been exposed to measles or have symptoms, please call your general practice first, 24/7. Calls made to general practices after hours will be answered by a nurse who will advise you what to do and where to go if you need to be seen
More information about measles is available at https://www.health.govt.nz/your-health/conditions-and-treatments/diseases-and-illnesses/measles and http://www.immune.org.nz.