There have now been 23 confirmed cases of measles in Northland this year. This includes a new case, confirmed this week, in a person who recently spent time in Auckland and is likely to have caught measles there.
Medical Officer of Health Dr Catherine Jackson urges parents and their children who were at the Whangarei Academy of Gymnastics on Wednesday 7 August between 1.30pm and 4pm or at Flip Out on Friday 9 August between 12pm and 2.30pm to be aware of the signs that they might be getting measles.
Measles starts a bit like the flu with fevers, cough, runny nose, and sore red eyes with a rash appearing on day 3-5.
If you think you or someone you love may have measles call Healthline on 0800 611 116 for advice.
If you need urgent care call ahead and let the GP, ambulance, or Emergency Department know you think you might have measles.
“If people are going to become unwell from this exposure to measles we would expect them to be starting to show signs from today up until the end of next week,” Dr Jackson explains.
“Those most at risk are children and adults under 50 years who have not been immunised for measles, pregnant women and anyone with a weakened immune system.”
The best protection from measles is MMR vaccine which is free from your GP.
Children in Whangarei can get a free MMR vaccine at the Child Wellbeing Hub at 22b Commerce Street on Thursdays, no appointment needed.
Around 1 in 10 Northland children haven't had a MMR vaccine and around 1 in 4 teenagers.
There have been over 420 cases in the Auckland Region this year with the number of new cases per week climbing.
"If Northland families are visiting Auckland I strongly recommend you check you are all protected by measles immunisation,” urges Dr Jackson.
“The last three confirmed cases in Northland most likely caught measles in the Auckland Region."