Measles - it's not over yet

Last updated 14:11 18/06/2014

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Five people have now been hospitalised by measles in recent weeks.

The Waikato District Health Board Population Health Service confirmed 60 cases had been found in the city since the outbreak began earlier this month. 

Waikato DHB medical officer of health Dr Anita bell said while a large number of cases were linked with Fraser High School, there was a single confirmed case at both Hamilton Girls' High School and Hamilton Junior High School.

"It's important that with the spread outside of the Fraser High School community, that people make themselves aware of the signs and symptoms of measles and to check their child's immunity status.'' 

The health service is investigating about another 14 suspected cases from throughout the city.

Information has been circulated regarding the increase in cases to all schools, early child care centres and general practice. Bell reiterated that immunisation is the best protection from this potentially serious disease.

"Immunisation protects not only the individual, but also blocks the spread of this disease within our communities."

Unimmunised people who have had contact with a person with measles, will normally be advised to stay at home and away from all public places, school or work for 14 days after their contact. 

''Anyone born before 1969 or who has received two doses of MMR can reasonably assume they are already immune."

If families suspect someone has measles they should call their doctor, where possible, before visiting to avoid spreading the disease while waiting. 

Measles is spread by tiny droplets in the air and is one of the few diseases that can spread so easily to those nearby.

Dr Bell says anyone displaying symptoms of measles, which include fever, cough, blocked nose, sore red eyes, should immediately telephone their doctor or Healthline on 0800 611 116 for advice.

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- Waikato Times

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