Associate Health Minister Jo Goodhew says frontline health services, including travel clinics and emergency departments (EDs), are being encouraged to help counter any spread of measles with new resources.
“There have now been 33 cases of measles recorded since the end of 2013, with seven people needing hospitalisation,” says Mrs Goodhew.
“All these people either caught the disease overseas, or were in contact with someone who had recently done so.
“This highlights the need for people to check they have been immunised against measles before heading abroad.
“The public health units have been working intensively whenever a case occurs to trace those who have been in contact with them.”
To help raise awareness of the current measles cases resources are being distributed to primary care, travel clinics, and EDs. The material includes flyers which highlight symptoms, explains what a person should do if they think they have measles and reminds travellers to get immunised before they fly.
“Anyone who suspects they may have measles should call their GP, or Healthline on 0800 611 116, as soon as possible. It’s important to call before visiting a GP surgery or emergency department, so that staff can take steps to prevent measles being spread to people in the waiting room,” says Mrs Goodhew.
You can find out more at the Ministry of Health measles pages at www.health.govt.nz/measles
Media contact: Angela Kenealy 021 220 0129