Measles cases rise in Mount Maunganui, three new cases in Auckland

The number of cases of measles in the Mount Maunganui area has risen to four with Auckland also registering an increase.

The Bay of Plenty's Toi Te Ora Public Health unit says it has identified four cases of measles occurring over the last three weeks that have been linked to the Mount Maunganui area.

Yesterday it said on case of the disease had been confirmed in Mt Maunganui.

There are also outbreaks of measles in Christchurch and Auckland at present.

Medical Officer of Health for Toi Te Ora Public Health, Dr Jim Miller, has reiterated it's important that parents ensure their children receive their free routine measles, mumps and rubella immunisations on time at 15 months and four years of age.

People who have never had a dose of MMR vaccine should get one now, though people born before 1 January 1969 are likely to be immune and this age group doesn't need measles immunisation. 

Dr Miller is urging anyone who may have measles to stay at home and phone their doctor to make arrangements to be assessed safely, without infecting other people, or call Healthline on 0800 611 116 for advice.

The first symptoms of measles are fever, runny nose, sore red eyes and cough. After three to five days a red, blotchy rash appears on the face and head and then spreads down the body.

Meanwhile, Auckland Regional Public Health Service said today it has been notified of three new measles cases, taking the number of confirmed cases in Auckland this year to 15.

Medical Officer of Health Dr William Rainger said the new cases are in isolation and the public health service is following up with contacts in family, household, education, healthcare and social settings to prevent spread of the disease.

"At this stage, we believe the new cases are linked to other pre-existing cases, rather than being new cases from overseas or of unknown origin," he said.

Two of the three cases - all girls aged under two years - live in West Auckland, with the third case from the North Shore.

The number of measles cases in Canterbury had risen to 37 on Friday March 29, with a further nine cases under investigation. 

The number in the latest outbreak is set to rise.
Source: 1 NEWS