News and Notices

South Island measles outbreak gets worse

There are now nine confirmed cases of measles attributed to the South Island measles outbreak.

Nelson Marlborough Health Public Health Medicine Specialist Dr Stephen Bridgman urges residents in the Nelson, Tasman and Marlborough regions to check that their MMR vaccination status is up to date and to be alert to symptoms.

This is especially important as people travel around the South Island during the school holidays.

"Measles is a very serious illness, with more than 30 deaths in Europe last year. This is why vaccination is so important; we need a 95% vaccination rate in our region to prevent outbreaks," Dr Bridgman says.

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


Outbreak details

There are now nine confirmed cases of measles in the South Island, among residents in Wanaka, Queenstown, Christchurch and Golden Bay (one case). The newest case was confirmed for a Christchurch resident on 20 April.

There has been a well-coordinated response to the outbreak involving South Island public health officials, ESR and the Ministry of Health.   Test results are pending for a number of new notifications in these areas and those individuals are keeping themselves isolated from their community.


Information about measles

Read about measles symptoms, infection prevent and treatment here.