Number of measles cases in Bay of Plenty rises to 10

A further four cases of measles have been confirmed in the Bay of Plenty since last week, bringing the total number of cases in the region over the past month to 10.

Needle (file picture) Source:

"The most recent cases are known to be linked to the earlier reported cases of measles," says Dr Phil Shoemack, Medical Officer of Health for Toi Te Ora Public Health.

"It's important that parents ensure their children receive their free routine MMR immunisations on time at 15 months and 4 years.

"If for any reason you have never had a dose of MMR vaccine now is the time to get one.

"After just one dose of MMR vaccine about 95 per cent of people will be protected from measles, and 99 per cent of people who have had both MMR doses will be protected from measles."

However people born before January 1969 are likely to be immune and do not need measles immunisation.

Dr Shoemack says it is particularly important to check your immunity before going on an overseas trip. There are currently significant measle outbreaks world wide and he says its common for travellers to bring the disease back from overseas.

"If you think you or someone in your family may have measles, stay at home and phone your doctor to alert them of your symptoms and allow them to make arrangements to assess you safely and without infecting other people, or call Healthline on 0800 611 116 for advice," says Dr Shoemack.