Measles Update

The following update is provided by Hamilton Boys' High School in consultation with Public Health Waikato District Health Board:

 

Dear Parents/Caregivers

Measles is a potentially serious, highly infectious viral disease, spread by contact with infectious droplets from the nose or throat of a person with measles. The virus may spread for a day before the first symptoms, and up to 5 days before a measles rash has appeared. You may not notice any symptoms for 8-14 days after contact with an infectious person (incubation period).

Measles may begin with symptoms of:

  1. Cough or runny nose or conjunctivitis (inflammation/pain/redness in your eyes)
  2. Fever (temperature above 38°C)
  3. Rash 2-4 days later, usually begins on the head and neck and gradually spreads to the rest of the body. The rash can last for up to a week.

Complications from measles are common and can be serious.

You are at greater risk of contracting measles if you have not already had measles or if you have not been immunised against the disease and were born after 1968. However, a very small proportion of fully immunised people may still get measles.

What you should do:

  • Check whether you have had two documented doses of Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR) vaccine, or have had measles in the past. If you were born before 2005 you may have to check your 'Well Child Tamariki Ora' or 'Plunket' book, or check with your health clinic.
  • If you have only had one vaccine please phone your health clinic to arrange a second vaccination.  
  • Please phone your health clinic (or Healthline 0800 611 116) if you have any of the symptoms outlined above. Don’t just arrive at a health clinic as you may possibly spread the highly contagious virus to other people. If there are masks and hand sanitiser at the entrance of the health clinic please use these prior to entering if you have any of the symptoms outlined above. You may be required to wait in a separate area to be seen by a nurse or doctor.

For more information see the below websites:

Immunisation Advisory Centre

www.immune.org.nz

Healthline
0800 611 116
www.healthline.govt.nz

Ministry of Health
www.health.govt.nz and search ‘measles’