Saturday, 23 February 2019
A case of the measles has been confirmed in Dunedin. The 18 year-old woman is a university student, residing in a flat, and is not thought to have been immunised against measles. Public Health South is working to identify all close contacts, determining their immunisation status and offering vaccination. Measles is a viral illness spread by contact with respiratory secretions through coughing and sneezing. Unimmunised people exposed to measles first develop a respiratory-type illness with a dry cough, runny nose, temperature over 38.5C and will likely feel very unwell. A rash appears two to four days after first symptoms, usually on the face and moving down the chest and arms. “The Measles is highly infectious. If you think you have symptoms of measles – it is vital that you do not visit your GP office, emergency room or after hours clinic. Instead, please phone your GP practice or Healthline for advice,” says Dr Susan Jack, Southern DHB Medical Officer of Health. “People are infectious from five days before the onset of the rash to five days after the rash starts and should stay in isolation during this time. This means staying home from school or work and having no contact with unimmunised people. “If your vaccinations are up-to-date, you will be protected. If you are unsure, you can check your vaccination status with your GP.” People are considered immune if they have received two doses of MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine, have had a measles illness previously or were born before 1969. MMR is available from your family practice and is free to eligible persons, although there may be an administration fee. More information about measles is available at: https://www.health.govt.nz/your-health/conditions-and-treatments/diseases-and-illnesses/measles Anyone with these symptoms or who believes they may have been exposed, can contact Healthline 0800 611 116 (free and 24 hours) for additional advice. Measles Fact Sheet •Measles is a highly infectious viral illness spread by contact with respiratory secretions through coughing and sneezing •Symptoms of measles 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 2 to 4 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 – staying home from school or 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 (measles, mumps, rubella) 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 or contact Healthline 0800 611 116 (free and 24 hours) for additional advice.