Measles in Waikato
Measles outbreak in Waikato
Update: As at 8am 13 November 2019, there have been 35 confirmed cases of measles in Waikato DHB since 1 August (51 since 1 January 2019). Most are related to the Auckland outbreaks.
Vaccine is available for childhood scheduled immunisations and children aged under 15 who have not had a single dose of MMR. People under the age of 50 travelling from New Zealand to Samoa, Tonga, Philippines and Fiji can be vaccinated.
Measles can be very serious for children and adults, and spreads very easily.
The first symptoms of measles are a fever, runny nose, cough, and red eyes, and then a rash will appear. You can spread measles to others from five days before, until five days after the rash appears.
If you are worried that you or your family have symptoms or have been close to someone with measles you need to stay at home and call your nurse, doctor, or Healthline (0800 611 116).
Please note this page is regularly updated based off information on immunisation, vaccine guidelines, travelling and more on the national 9measles outbreak information from the Ministry.
How do I protect my family and community?
- Make sure that your children are up-to-date with their immunisations.
- Due to this current outbreak of measles, children in Waikato can have their first MMR at 12-15 months if parents request this, then second dose at 4 years. This is a change from the usual time for the first MMR which is normally given at 15 months.
- For those children catching up, the first dose is normally followed by a gap of at least 4 weeks before the second dose is given. Please also check with the nurse who normally looks after your children for immunisation.
- Children aged 15 and under who have not had a single dose of MMR can be vaccinated.
- All children under five who have not received either dose of MMR should be actively recalled.
- People under the age of 50 travelling from New Zealand to Samoa, Tonga, Philippines and Fiji can be vaccinated.
- Adults born after 1 January 1969 who have not been vaccinated, or can not show if they are vaccinated,are recommended to catch up once supply is sufficient.
- If people have to travel to Auckland or overseas, please refer to the Ministry's website for the most recent advice.
- People travelling to a region where there is an active outbreak of measles - regions with measles outbreaks can be found here.
- If people are travelling to Auckland, please make sure they are vaccinated. If you are not vaccinated or not sure of your status, then don’t travel if you don’t have to.
What is the latest Waikato measles news?
MMR prioritisation group:
- On time immunisation at 15months and again at 4 years of age.
- MMR can be given from 12 months if the parents request this. If given early please give all the childhood vaccinations that would be needed at 15 months.
- Concerns about an infant aged 6–11 months being at high risk of exposure due to travel. The child will still need two more doses of the MMR vaccine between the ages of 1 and 4 years old. See here for more travel information.
- Susceptible close contacts within 72 hours of first exposure to measles when possible (directed by the Public Health unit).
Extension of priorities to include:
- Vaccination of all 1 to 4 year olds whose vaccinations are overdue - including active recall of children aged under 5 years who need catch-up vaccination.
- Vaccination of all unimmunised children aged 5 to 14 years of age (one catch-up dose of MMR for those aged 5–14 years who do not have one documented MMR vaccination).
- Active recall catch up for age 1-14.
Further advice for practices:
Isolate any suspected cases in your practice
Set up a process to screen patients for suspected measles when they phone, encourage them to ring from their car when they arrive, and keep them isolated from others in your clinic. Please use a separate area for assessing suspected cases. There is signage for your entrance ‘STOP - do you think you have measles?’
For local advice on how to manage a suspected case of measles that presents at your practice please click here.
Information and advice made for you and the general public
At this stage, we are advising suspected cases to contact their practice for advice which is contained in the following link, and if not immune, book in to get the vaccine.
|People are immune and not at risk of measles if they…||
|People are not immune and are at risk of measles if they…||
Serological testing for immunity
The Waikato Medical Officer of Health advises that people with documentation of one dose of measles vaccine will not be able to access second dose currently. They should ask to be contacted by GP when second dose is available. In the interim they should not be excluded from their workplace. People with no doses documented who have not been vaccinated, or can not show if they are vaccinated, are recommended to catch up once supply is sufficient (due to limited vaccine supply, this is not currently available). If they are a contact of a case of measles they will need to be isolated as per the advice in our fact sheet.
- Here is an example letter a contact of a measles case would receive [PDF, 325 KB]
In this letter it has a table that helps people answer: How do I know whether I or my child is immune?
- Measles whānau pack [PDF, 520 KB]
- Worried about measles? English & Māori [PDF, 123 KB]
- Worried about measles? English & Pacific [PDF, 157 KB]
- A4 STOP sign for GPs and medical centres [PDF, 20 KB]
- A4 poster "Measles symptoms" - English [PDF, 167 KB]
- A4 poster "Ko ngā tohu o te mītara" - Māori [PDF, 185 KB]