Measles alert

Measles alert

Four measles cases have been confirmed in the past week in Canterbury.

If you think you have not been immunised against measles please make an appointment at the UC Health Centre to see one of the nurses to check your immunisation history.

If you require a series of vaccinations we can offer this to you once we have established your vaccination history. It is recommended that all young adults 18 years and older who have not received two documented doses of the MMR vaccination should be vaccinated as soon as possible.

Information about measles

  • Measles is a highly infectious viral illness spread by contact with respiratory secretions through coughing and sneezing.
  • Symptoms include: 
    • A respiratory type of illness with dry cough, runny nose, headache
    • Temperature over 38.5 C and feeling very unwell
    • A red blotchy rash starts on day 4-5 of the illness usually on the face and moves to the chest and arms.
  • People are infectious from five days before the onset of the rash to five days after the rash starts.
  • Infected persons should stay in isolation – stay home from school, university and work during this time.
  • The best protection from measles is to have two MMR vaccinations. MMR is available from your family practice and is free to eligible persons.
  • People are considered immune if they have received two doses of MMR vaccine, have had a measles illness previously, or were born before 1969.
  • Anyone believing they have been exposed to measles or exhibiting symptoms, should not go to the ED or after hours’ clinic or general practitioner. Instead call your GP any time, 24/7 for free health advice.

More information is available from the Canterbury District Health Board website.

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