Between late December 2013 and 24 February 2014, there have been 47 confirmed measles cases reported in New Zealand. Some of these cases have been in pre-school aged children. A total of eight cases have required hospitalisation to date. No reported cases have occurred in Christchurch.
Most cases have occurred in unimmunised people, and immunisation remains the best way to prevent infection and spread within the community.
The Ministry of Health suggests that the best protection against measles is the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine which is free for all children. MMR vaccinations are scheduled at 15 months and 4 years.
Measles can be prevented if staff, parents and caregivers make sure that their immunisations and their children’s immunisations are up-to-date. Anyone born after 1 January 1969 should ensure they are fully immunised against measles. If they are unsure, they can check with their family doctor.
For further health information on measles and measles immunisation please visit the Ministry of Health website http://www.moh.govt.nz/measles or the Immunisation Advisory Centre website http://www.immune.org.nz. You can also call the Immunisation Advisory Centre toll-free on 0800 IMMUNE (0800 466 863) for advice.