Measles in the North Island

In the last 6 months, more than 220 cases of measles were reported in the North Island. Many of the people who became sick with measles were students in Hamilton schools. Most of them were not fully vaccinated. Children should have the MMR vaccine at the age of 15 months with another dose at 4 years. The MMR vaccine is for protection against Measles, Mumps and Rubella.

Any students who were in contact with the measles and were not vaccinated, should stay at home for 14 days. It takes 10 to 14 days for measles to develop after contact. It is a highly infectious disease, spread through the air by breathing, coughing or sneezing. It is infectious 5 days before the rash develops and 5 days after it appears.

Measles can be a serious illness. It can cause complications like ear infections and pneumonia. About 1 in 10 people with measles will be so sick, they will need hospital treatment. If you think you have measles, ring the free Healthline 0800 611 116. It is available 24 hours a day.

With school holidays starting next week, families travel more and it is possible that measles will also travel to the South Island.

This is not the first time there has been a large number of people with measles. Listen to September 11th 2011 to hear more about measles in the North Island.


Vocabulary

  • vaccinated (v), vaccine, vaccination (n) – immunised (v), immunisation (n), given an injection to protect against disease
  • dose – one injection (or medicine taken at one time)
  • infectious (adj), infection (n), infect v) – can spread easily from one person to another
  • rash – red spots
  • complications – something more serious develops
  • pneumonia – a serious lung infection





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