Wary eye kept on measles cases

GERMARI HERSELMAN
Last updated 12:53 09/01/2014

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Precautions have been taken in Marlborough after an outbreak of measles in the North Island.

No cases have been reported in the district, but the Nelson Marlborough District Health Board is not ruling out the possibility of the virus spreading south.

Nelson Marlborough's medical officer of health, Dr Ed Kiddle, said immunisation was the best form of prevention.

"Most people born after 1969 would have been immunised against the measles virus, but if anyone is unsure it would be best to discuss it with their doctor," he said.

Children were first immunised at 15 months and again at 4 years.

It was possible for adults to be immunised if necessary.

The board had issued health alerts about the North Island outbreak to doctors and other health professionals, Dr Kiddle said.

Parents who suspected they or their children might have measles were advised to call their doctor before going to a medical centre as the virus was highly infectious.

"Just being in the same room as someone with the virus could spread it."

Measles could lead to complications, including ear infections, inflammation of the brain and pneumonia, so it was best for people to call their doctor if they were worried, Dr Kiddle said.

The last confirmed case in Marlborough was just over a year ago, when a 1-year-old was diagnosed with the virus, he said.

"The family moved down from Auckland and she was not yet immunised as she was too young," he said.

"Thankfully, she recovered."


MEASLES SYMPTOMS

Fever

Runny nose

Sore eyes (conjunctivitis)

A cough starts between day three and five after infection

A red rash starts on the face and spreads elsewhere

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- The Marlborough Express

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