Two further cases of measles confirmed in Auckland

Press Release – Auckland Regional Public Health Service

The Auckland Regional Public Health Service (ARPHS) has confirmed two more cases of measles in Auckland. Medical Officer of Health Cathy Pikholz says the new cases, both young infants, shows measles is once again present in the community. In early …Friday, 29 April 2011


Two further cases of measles confirmed in Auckland

The Auckland Regional Public Health Service (ARPHS) has confirmed two more cases of measles in Auckland.

Medical Officer of Health Cathy Pikholz says the new cases, both young infants, shows measles is once again present in the community.

In early April ARPHS had reported the end of an outbreak which saw 24 people notified with measles since mid-January. However, Dr Pikholz says she is not surprised measles has reappeared, given its presence in other parts of New Zealand and the world.

“As always we urge people to be vigilant if they suspect they could have measles, or been exposed to someone who could have measles.”

Dr Pikholz says common symptoms include a red rash that starts on the face and moves to the rest of the body, runny nose, cough, sore eyes or fever.

“Measles must be taken very seriously, especially as we are seeing new cases presenting,” says Dr Pikholz. “It is a serious and highly infectious disease that spreads easily through the air, especially through coughing and sneezing, and can make people very sick.”

“ARPHS’ role is to contact people known to be exposed to these cases and assess whether they are susceptible to measles infection, and provide public health advice including the need for isolation and further immunisation,” says Dr Pikholz.

If you think you or someone in your care has measles
Prompt identification can help limit the spread of measles to others. If you or anyone in your care displays common symptoms such as a red rash that starts on the face and moves to the rest of the body, runny nose, cough, sore eyes or fever, seek immediate medical help – contact Healthline on 0800 611 116 or your local doctor.

It is also important that if you suspect you may have measles, or you have had contact with someone suspected to have measles and you are not immune, that you remain in isolation to limit the spread of the disease. Therefore, ARPHS advises people to phone ahead before visiting a doctor to minimise the spread of infection to others in the waiting room.

How do I know if I’m immune?
People born before 1969, or who have received two doses of the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine (MMR), or who have had measles in the past are considered to be immune.

Get immunised
Immunisation is the only effective way to protect against the disease. If you or any children in your care are not up to date with immunisations, then contact your GP or practice nurse and arrange to catch up as soon as possible.

MMR is given in two doses, normally at 15 months and 4 years of age, giving over 95% protection. However, it’s never too late to get immunised.

ENDS

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