Measles outbreak a serious concern


The three cases of measles in Nelson and the isolation of several others, has Nelson Primary Health seriously concerned.

Measles is highly contagious, it affects both children and adults and spreads easily from person to person through the air, via breathing, coughing and sneezing.

Measles can affect both children and adults, but it only take two doses of the measles vaccine to protect yourself, your family and your community.

“Please protect your family and help prevent further cases  in our region”, says Nelson Bays Primary Health Chief Executive Angela Francis.

“Vaccination is the key to stopping measles outbreaks occurring. Vaccination with the two doses of the MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine is free and available from your GP.

“Check with your GP or practice nurse if you are not sure if you, or your child, has had two doses and if need be go in to the surgery to get the vaccination.”

In the current nationwide outbreak centred in the Waikato there have been 51 cases so far and 9 people have been admitted to hospital. People with measles are infectious 5 days before and until 5 days after the rash appears.

Measles during pregnancy increases the risk of miscarriage, premature labor and low birth-weight babies.

Measles can also lead to other complications, including:

·         ear infections (which can cause permanent hearing loss)

·         diarrhoea

·         pneumonia

·         seizures

·         swelling of the brain – this is rare, but can cause permanent brain damage or death.