Measles information for individuals and families

We understand that as a community we have questions about measles and we would like to help support you with some information.

Many agencies, workplaces, and support services are gathering information about people’s immunity to measles in order to reduce the risks to people in the community and help contain any outbreaks.

In order to help the community, if you haven’t checked already, now would be a good time to make sure you’re aware of your own immunity.

Here are some guidelines to follow – but please remember your GP or Healthline can assist you 0800 611 116

 

How do you know?

 

YOU ARE NOT IMMUNE AND ARE AT RISK OF GETTING MEASLES IF:

  • You were born after 1 January 1969 and haven’t had at least one dose of MMR vaccine after your first birthday, or haven’t had measles
  • You are ‘immunocompromised’ (when a medical condition or medication has weakened your immune system), even if you have been vaccinated or had measles previously.

 

If you are not immune – you need to take action

  • If you want to be vaccinated contact your doctor or Healthline 0800 611 116 There are community clinics set up in many areas- vaccinations are free. There are 2 to get, most people are only getting one at present due to demand.
  • Be aware that vaccinations take 2 weeks to be effective
  • A person who has been given one dose of the MMR vaccine has a 95 percent chance of being immune to the virus.

 

You are likely to be IMMUNE and safe from measles if:

  • You have received at least one dose of the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine. This will be recorded in your Well Child/Tamariki Ora or Plunket book, or with your GP.
  • You were born before 1 January 1969. Before 1969, almost everyone caught the disease as a child.
  • You have previously been diagnosed with measles. Once you have recovered from measles, your body is protected from future illness.

 

If you are immune - no action is needed simply carry on life as normal.

 

As with any other illness, if you are feeling sick:

  • You should stay away from work or public places (including schools) to help prevent putting other people at risk.
  • If you or a family member suspect that you have measles, you should stay at home, contact your doctor or Health Line (0800 611 116) and alert them to your symptoms.
  • It is important to follow their advice on what action to take and minimise your contact with others.
  • Watch for measles symptoms. These include fever, cough, runny nose and sore red eyes, followed by a rash that starts on the face and neck before moving down the body.