Measles warning for end of school holidays

The number of measles infections in our biggest city has gone above 200, in a sign the spread of the illness isn’t easing off.

Measles, mumps and rubella vaccines sitting in a cooler. Source: Associated Press

Auckland Regional Public Health Service said there were 210 confirmed cases for the year as of this morning (8.30am), with ramifications starting to bite.

“This outbreak is hitting a number of communities hard, especially families with young children in south and west Auckland,” ARPHS clinical director Julia Peters told 1 NEWS.

A graph showing the number of confirmed measles cases in New Zealand. Source: Supplied

“The impact is being felt by early childhood centres who are having to ask children and staff to stay home if they are not vaccinated,” she said.

Dr Peters is also warning schools will only get more measles cases in their classrooms as students return from holiday.

The latest nationwide figures compiled by ESR to last Friday show there were 30 cases reported in a week.

That meant the confirmed national toll was 311, with four out of every ten cases (41.2 per cent) needing hospital treatment.

Most of the admissions were for babies under 15-months, but the 20-29 age group came next.

The ESR data shows country’s infection rate isn’t as high as previous peaks, but it’s still going up.

Julia Peters told 1 NEWS there is enough supplies for people who haven’t been given a vaccine to get one.

The only way to reduce the impact of this outbreak, seen in high rates of hospital admissions, in absence from work and school, and in family life curtailed, is to for anyone who has not had a MMR vaccine to get one,” she said.