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).