Media Release - 10/07/09
Canterbury District Health Board’s Community and Public Health Division has so far identified 15 confirmed and six probable cases in Christchurch’s measles outbreak.
Four of these people have been hospitalised.
Aside from one person in their early 20s, all of the cases are aged between 11 and 16 years. Twelve of them are from Christchurch Boys High School but there are now cases from a variety of schools across Christchurch city.
Most of the young people have been able to be cared for at home but four have been in hospital. There is no-one in hospital at the moment.
Canterbury Medical Officer of Health Dr Ramon Pink said, “Most of the cases had not been immunised, three had been only partially immunised and six had been fully immunised.”
“All caregivers, particularly those concerned that their children could be at risk in this outbreak, should check their children’s immunisation record and if they have not been immunised contact their GP and arrange for it to be done,” he said.
“The fact that some of the young people with measles have been immunised is concerning and work is being done to identify the batch numbers of the vaccine given to them. We do not yet know why it has been ineffective but we will keep looking.”
Across any population, the MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella) vaccination is 95 per cent effective in giving life long immunity.
People who have been identified as being unwell in the measles outbreak are being isolated at home and un-immunised close contacts are being advised to be vaccinated.
Anyone who is concerned that they or a family member may have measles should phone their GP. Symptoms of the disease include fever, red eyes (conjunctivitis), runny nose, spots on the inside of the mouth and a rash which appears in days three to seven of the illness.