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Waikato measles outbreak leads to warnings from DHB

A measles outbreak in Waikato has led to a warning from the District Health Board.

It comes as Waikato DHB Medical Officer of Health, Dr Richard Hoskins says he has been notified of six cases of measles in the last week, some of them dating back to late December. 

"Measles is easily passed from one person to another. The best form of protection is immunisation," said Dr Hoskins in a statement today.

"It is important to be aware of the symptoms of measles and what to do if you think you or a family member has measles.

"The first symptoms of measles are a fever, and a runny nose or cough or red eyes. After a few days a red blotchy rash develops and lasts up to one week. The rash usually starts on the face and spreads to the rest of the body," he says.

Public Health are working to inform individuals who may have been exposed to measles in various settings.

Contacts who are not immune to measles are advised to stay at home and away from all public places, school or work for 14 days after their contact, or until their immunity is proven.

The Waikato DHB says if you or your child becomes unwell please phone your GP or call Health line on 0800 611 116 for advice or seek medical attention depending on severity of illness.

It is important to call first because measles is highly infectious, and people with measles can infect others around them for example in waiting rooms of GP surgeries or emergencies.

Measles is spread by tiny droplets in the air and is one of the few diseases that can spread so easily to those nearby.

Immunisation is the best protection against this potentially serious disease according to the Waikato DHB. 

Mother nursing sick child At Home
Mother nursing sick child at home. Source: istock.com