Measles cases are once again of concern in Auckland. Importantly, Measles is a very contagious viral disease; you might recall the last outbreak in Auckland in 2019. During that major outbreak of measles people who were unvaccinated were at risk of serious illness. Moreover, hospitalisations occurred. So it’s important for people in our community to be aware of the symptoms of measles and when to seek urgent medical care.
Symptoms of Measles to watch out for (even before a rash appears!)
Did you know, measles symptoms usually appear around 10-14 days after infection?
They can include:
- High fever
- Runny nose
- Red, watery eyes
- Tiny white spots inside the mouth
- Rash that starts on the face and spreads to the rest of the body
The characteristic rash usually lasts around 5-6 days. Also, it may be accompanied by fever, cough, and runny nose. Above all; Measles can be especially dangerous for young children and infants, as well as pregnant women and people with weakened immune systems. Little ones sometimes have not had their MMR vaccinations yet or their boosters.
When to seek Urgent Care for Measles Symptoms
If you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms of measles, don’t hesitate to get medical care as soon as possible. Measles can cause serious complications and is highly contagious. So it’s important to take precautions to prevent the further spread of Measles.
Come to East Care or see your GP if you:
- Think you have measles and have not been vaccinated (or can’t recall if you have been).
- Have been in close contact with someone with measles and have not been vaccinated
- Experience severe symptoms such as difficulty breathing or chest pain
- Are pregnant and have been exposed to measles
If you think you may have Measles, it is important to call us before entering the clinic. It’s the best way to prevent further spread and ensure that appropriate precautions are taken.
Prevention of Measles with the MMR Vaccination
Until recently, it was uncommon for people to get measles because our MMR vaccinations had a high adoption rate. Without a doubt, the most effective way to prevent measles is through MMR vaccination. The measles vaccine is safe and effective and is recommended for all children and adults who have not been vaccinated. The vaccine is typically given in two doses, the first at 12-15 months of age and the second at 4-6 years of age.
In addition to vaccination, you can also help prevent the spread of measles by:
- Washing your hands frequently
- Covering your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing
- Avoiding close contact with people who are unwell
- Isolating if you are unwell with measles symptoms
It is important for our Auckland community to be vigilant about measles. This means taking steps to protect each other from measles. Moreover, if you’re unsure about your vaccination status or have any concerns about measles, please contact your family GP to check your files.
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