Measles is highly infectious and immunisation is the best way to protect against getting measles. It is currently a very concerning time for whānau and families. Plunket has put together some information to help.
The first symptoms of measles include a fever, cough, runny nose, sore and watery pink eyes (conjunctivitis), and sometimes small white spots on the back inner cheek of the mouth.
Day 3-7 of the illness: a blotchy rash that tends to start on the face, behind the ears, before moving over the head and down the body. This lasts up to a week.
For those who don’t meet the above priorities, it is recommended that your GP include you on a recall list for when vaccine distribution returns to normal. When stocks are secure, GPs should be offering two documented doses of MMR vaccine for free to those who need it, as per the New Zealand Pharmaceutical Schedule.
Infants aged under 6 months are too young to receive an MMR vaccination.
If you (or a family member) suspect you have measles, you should stay at home. You can call PlunketLine on 0800 933 922 for any advice. We’re available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You can also call your doctor to check if you need to be seen, and – this is really important – what their process is if you do. If you have measles it is important to avoid spreading it to others in the waiting room.
For help and advice call PlunketLine 0800 933 922, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
In an emergency, phone 111.