Currently Christchurch has no measles cases. However, the UC Health Centre still wants to see you if you:
- have never received an Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccination in the past
- have commenced a course of MMR and need a 2nd booster
- are uncertain of your vaccination history or have close contact with someone who is unable to be vaccinated such as a young baby or a household contact with compromised immunity
A single measles vaccination given to those born between 1969 and 1994 is sufficient to give 95% immunity and the health authorities are not recommending that these people get a booster shot.
If in doubt, please come and check in with the team at the Health Centre.
The number of confirmed measles cases in Canterbury has now reached 30.
Measles is a serious and highly infectious illness that spreads easily from person to person through the air, and can be caught simply by being in the same room as someone with measles.
What are the symptoms?
Symptoms are usually a fever, cough, runny nose, sore and watery eyes, and sometimes small white spots in the mouth. Over the next few days a blotchy rash appears, starting on the face and behind the ears, and moving down the body.
If you develop any of these symptoms stay at home and phone the UC Health Centre if you are enrolled there or your General Practitioner (GP) for advice as soon as possible.
- If you have had two doses of the measles vaccine (MMR – Mumps, Measles and Rubella), have had the measles before, or were born before 1969 you are unlikely to develop the measles.
- Those born between 1969 and 1990 are considered to have a good level of protection. This group were offered one measles vaccine and evidence suggests that one dose of MMR protects 95% of people from developing measles.
- If you’re not sure if you’ve been immunised for measles, contact your health service provider – they can check your vaccination history.
Priority group for vaccination
To ensure vaccines are being provided to those in greatest need, a vaccination programme is being rolled out by general practices which prioritises those who need it most.
The immediate priority is those aged 12 months to 28 years who have never been immunised. As more vaccine becomes available the MMR vaccine will be made available to other priority groups.
If you are enrolled at the UC Health Centre, meet the criteria for vaccination and have not yet been contacted, please call the UC Health Centre to book in for your MMR vaccine. Otherwise please contact your General Practitioner (GP).
There are now 14 confirmed measles cases in Canterbury. Measles is a highly contagious virus that spreads easily from person to person through the air, via breathing, coughing and sneezing.
- If you catch measles you are infectious 5 days before and until 5 days after the rash appears (see symptoms below).
- Anyone with measles needs to be in isolation from the time they become ill until 5 days after the rash has appeared. This means staying away from university, work, sporting competitions and social events.
Not sure if you’ve been immunised?
The best protection is for people born after 1969 to have had two MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccinations.
If you are not sure if you’ve been immunised for measles, and you’re enrolled at the UC Health Centre please phone them as soon as possible – they can check your vaccination history.
If you are not enrolled with the UC Health Centre please contact your own General Practitioner (GP) to check your vaccination history.
If you are exposed to measles and haven’t been immunised, you’ll need to be isolated for at least 14 days.
Early symptoms include:
- a dry cough
- runny nose
- temperature over 38.5 degrees
Around four or five days in:
- a blotchy face rash usually appears, then moves to the chest and arms.
If you think you have been exposed to measles or are exhibiting symptoms, do not go to the Emergency Department (ED), after hours clinic, UC Health or your general practitioner (GP). Instead phone UC Health or your GP for advice.
Canterbury District Health Board website – search measles
Ministry of Health website