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Measles update 25 October

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There have been no new confirmed measles cases this week. The total number of Southern DHB cases remains at 71.

Total cases for each location to date is:

Dunedin: 2

Oamaru: 1

Wanaka: 3

Queenstown: 64

Gore: 1

The Southern DHB is expecting a delivery of 3,000 extra vaccines next week allowing a widening of priority groups for MMR vaccination.

In the Southern District Health Board region, the priority group for MMR vaccinations has been widened to include catch up MMR vaccinations for all children and young people up to the age of 18 years alongside routine vaccination at 15 months and 4 years. Unvaccinated children as young as 6 months of age traveling to Auckland or another measles-affected location are also now eligible for MMR vaccination two weeks before traveling.

Primary care practices will be actively recalling those eligible, however, if you know your children are not fully vaccinated with two MMRs then please call your GP practice to make an appointment to be vaccinated.

Southern DHB’s Medical Officer of Health Dr Susan Jack says that the public have done a great job helping to stop the spread of measles but it is too soon to consider the local outbreak to be over.

“We appreciate everyone’s patience and support in responding to measles in our region. Keep up the good work by making sure your children and teenagers are up to date with two MMR vaccinations and watch out for measles symptoms which could include a cough, runny nose, inflamed eyes, fever followed a few days later by a rash.”

Anyone who thinks they might have been exposed to measles should watch out for symptoms and isolate themselves immediately if they start to get sick. Please call your GP practice in advance if you are seeking care.

Unvaccinated people who have had direct contact with measles cases should get advice from Healthline on 0800 611 116.

The Immunisation Advisory Centre has provided up to date information about measles immunity and the MMR vaccine on their website: https://www.immune.org.nz/hot-topic/measles-overseas-and-new-zealand

For more information on measles please visit the Ministry of Health website.