News and Notices

Measles case confirmed in Nelson

A teenager, who had recently visited Hamilton and returned to Nelson last week, has been confirmed as having measles.

Medical Officer of Health Dr Ed Kiddle says that the Nelson Marlborough Health Public Health Service has been following up people who had been in contact with the teenager to advise any risk of measles to them.

“Given the outbreak in Hamilton and the confirmation of a case of measles down here, people need to ensure they are protected through vaccination,” Dr Kiddle says.

Dr Kiddle says that to minimise any local spread of this highly-infectious and potentially serious disease, people need to:

Make sure they are up to date with the MMR (Measles Mumps Rubella) vaccine.

Be alert to the early symptoms of measles:  It starts with a fever and usually a cough or runny nose, and perhaps sore, red eyes before the rash appears.

Most critically: If concerned, phone and discuss any symptoms with a GP or practise nurse rather than putting other people at risk by going straight in to the GP surgery, after-hours GP or hospital ED unit.

Dr Kiddle says that measles is highly-infectious to non-immune people and can spread to others in a waiting room.

He says that people born before 1969, and people who have had two doses of the MMR vaccine are almost certainly immune to measles.