Ministry supports action on measles


Ministry supports action on measles

Media release from the Ministry of Health

As measles continues to circulate in New Zealand, the Ministry of Health says it's vital to continue working on prevention and control measures.

New Zealand was verified by the World Health Organization as having eliminated endemic measles and rubella in October 2017. The 350 cases of measles reported so far in 2019 have stemmed from travellers bringing the disease from overseas.

At a meeting last month, the National Verification Committee for Measles and Rubella Elimination (NVC) warned that New Zealand's elimination status was at risk, as a result of multiple measles importations, and low rates of domestic immunity in some groups.

It also considers that the current situation in New Zealand could become a threat for other countries in the Pacific region.

The NVC provides expert advice on the prevention and control of measles and rubella, including verification of their elimination.

The Ministry's Director of Public Health, Dr Caroline McElnay welcomes the NVC's recommendations.

"I want to acknowledge the Committee's advice. We'll be using this to further develop the strategies we need to address the current rise in measles cases and immunity gaps within our community," says Dr McElnay