Check with your doctor whether you and your family have been fully immunised against measles – especially if you are travelling overseas or were born after 1968.
Title: 2014 measles
Title: Dr Darren Hunt, Director of Public Health – Ministry of Health
Dr Darren Hunt: Measles is a highly infectious virus.
If you haven’t been immunised you can catch it quite easily from someone else who has measles just by being in the same room.
Measles is also very serious and can be life threatening.
It can lead to pneumonia and inflammation of the brain and around 1 in 5 people this year who have had measles have needed hospital treatment.
And the sort of things you need to look out for in terms of symptoms in the first few days, are a cough, itchy red eyes, runny nose and also a fever and you can get a rash that starts from your face and leads down to your body.
[Photos show a child with itchy red eyes, and one with the characteristic measles spots over their face.]
Now if you get these sorts of measles symptoms you really need to get medical advice.
Call Healthline or your GP or nurse.
Title: Healthline – 0800 611 116: Free health advice when you need it
Dr Darren Hunt: And it’s really important to call first so that you can be seen separately away from others so that they don’t catch it from you.
While measles is highly infectious, it’s also very easy to prevent it. Immunisation against measles is free for those who need it, so you should talk to your GP or nurse about whether you have been immunised before.
And if you’re in doubt there’s no harm in having another one.
And it’s also really important before you travel so you don’t bring measles back into the country. And measles immunisation will not only protect you, your family and your community, it’ll also mean that you don’t get stuck at home for 2 weeks.
Because if you haven’t been immunised and you come in contact with someone who has had measles, then you need to stay at home for 2 weeks to make sure you don’t pass the virus onto others.
So if in I doubt, talk to your GP or nurse and get immunised.
Title: Don’t assume you’re immune to measles. To get immunised now, talk to your family doctor or nurse. It’s free!
Title: Healthline – 0800 611 116: Free health advice when you need it. www.healthline.govt.nz