Measles warning

by Anonymous Author

Selwyn residents are being urged to watch out for the signs of measles after a Canterbury man was confirmed to have contracted the infectious disease while holidaying in Bali.

A 23-year-old Christchurch man was put into isolation after laboratory testing last week which confirmed he had been infected with measles.

Canterbury Medical Officer of Health Dr Ramon Pink said measles is highly infectious.

“The measles virus spreads easily from person to person through the air, via breathing, coughing and sneezing,” Dr Pink said.

“It starts with fever, runny nose, cough, red eyes, and sore throat. This is followed by a rash that spreads over the body.”

He said people who aren’t fully immunised are being asked to keep a close eye out for measles symptoms.

“We’re asking people who haven’t been immunised and those who may have been in contact with the case to keep a close eye out for these symptoms. If you develop symptoms phone a doctor and let them know that you have potentially been in contact with a confirmed measles case.” 

Dr Pink said the team at Community and Public Health are busy contacting those who may have come into contact with the man to minimise the spread.

“Unfortunately New Zealanders face a heightened risk of measles as a result of the decision by parents in the 1990s not to get their children immunised due to now discredited research on the link between the measles vaccine and autism.

“It is a timely reminder for everyone to check their immunisations are up-todate.

Measles cannot be treated once you get it so the only way to protect yourself is to be fully vaccinated.

“While it’s important to get vaccines on time, every time, it’s never too late. 

For more information on immunisation speak to your doctor,” Dr Pink said.