Measles Outbreak: What you need to know

You may have heard about the measles outbreak in Auckland. We are asking all students and staff to be extra vigilant for the symptoms of measles, in yourself and your friends and colleagues.

There have been two confirmed cases of an NZST student with measles and appropriate steps have been taken to ensure the disease did not spread further.

What you need to know

Measles is one of the most contagious viral diseases known. The virus is spread from person to person through the air by breathing, sneezing or coughing.

The symptoms of measles include a fever, cough, runny nose, sore/red eyes, or a rash that appears on the face and then moves down the body.

What you should do

Find out if you are vaccinated:

  • Ask your doctor or your parents if you have had at least one dose of the measles vaccine (MMR). If you or your parents have your New Zealand blue Well Child book (the Plunket book), your vaccinations are usually recorded there.
  • International students should check with their doctor or parents to see if they have had at least one dose of the MMR vaccine after one year of age.
  • You are considered immune if you have had one dose of MMR; if you were born before 1969; or you have had a previous documented case of measles. If you are immune, you do not have to do anything.

If you aren’t vaccinated with one dose of MMR, talk to your GP:·

  • New Zealanders can get a free MMR vaccine if they are born after 1 January 1969 and aren’t immunised. Contact your GP or medical practice. The best protection against measles is vaccination.
  • If you are immunocompromised or pregnant, you may wish to contact AUckland public health for specific advice on 09 623 4600.

If you have measles, or might have been exposed to measles and are not immune:

  • You should contact your GP immediately. It’s important to do this by phone as you could potentially infect others by visiting your doctor or emergency department before seeking advice.
  • Please do not come to campus if you suspect you have measles or might have been exposed to measles and are not immune.
  • You should also notify the campus manager immediately to let them know. This is an important step in containing any spread of measles.
  • You can call Healthline for measles advice on 0800 611 116. You can also use this service in languages other than English. Healthline has interpreters – when your call is answered, say you’d like an interpreter and the language you’d like to speak in.
  • It may take up to 14 days for an unprotected individual to develop the disease after exposure to an infectious person. Please watch out for the symptoms as outlined above.

If you have any queries or need more information about measles please visit the Auckland Regional Public Health Service website.

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