The Taranaki Public Health Unit has confirmed another case of measles in Taranaki. Medical Officer of Health, Dr Jonathan Jarman, says “A woman in her twenties has been admitted to Taranaki Base Hospital with a confirmed case of measles.
“The source of the infection is unknown, but the Taranaki Public Health Unit is working to determine where this patient may have been whilst contagious.”
Dr Jarman emphasises that measles is one of the most infectious of all diseases because it is airborne and can be easily spread. The MMR vaccine offers the best protection against measles, therefore we strongly recommend people get vaccinated.
“In this case the patient was unvaccinated which meant she was vulnerable to the virus. I can’t stress enough how important it is to check that your whānau are up to date with their vaccinations,” Dr Jarman added.
The public is being urged to remain vigilant about symptoms which may take a while to appear – usually about
10 days after being exposed to the virus.
Dr Jarman says, “Measles spreads easily via coughing and sneezing. Symptoms include a high fever along with a runny nose, hacking cough, sore red eyes, followed by a rash three to five days later which starts on the head and spreads down the body.
“People are infectious from five days before the rash appears to five days after, therefore anyone with
measles needs to be isolated from the time they become ill until five days after the rash has appeared.”
If you start to develop symptoms that could be measles, or have been in contact with anyone who is a
confirmed case, please phone your GP or contact Healthline on 0800 611 116 . Be sure to call before visiting
your GP to prevent infecting others.
Dr Jarman adds, “Patients can be really sick with measles and it usually takes one to two weeks to get better.
Complications are common and about one in 10 people will need hospital treatment.”