High risk of measles outbreak
Aotearoa is at very high risk of a measles outbreak. Of all diseases, measles is one of the most dangerous and contagious. It is so infectious that, if you are not immunised and come into contact with someone who has measles, you are very likely to catch it and pass it on to others.
Measles can spread very easily among people who are not protected (immune) from the virus. This is anyone who has not already had 2 doses of the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine, or who has not had measles before.
Latest measles Locations of Interest (LOIs)
There are no current locations of interest.
How do I know if I'm protected?
You are considered immune to measles if you:
- were born before 1 January 1969
- have had measles before
- have had 2 doses of a measles vaccine, after your first birthday
- have had a blood test showing you are immune.
Make sure you're protected
The best protection against measles is the free MMR vaccine. The MMR vaccine is free for all children in Aotearoa, and all adults over the age of 18 who are eligible for publicly funded healthcare in Aotearoa.
If you are a contact of someone with measles
Measles symptoms can start 7 to 18 days after you are exposed to the virus. The symptoms usually start within 10 days. The first symptoms of measles are:
- a fever
- a cough
- a runny nose
- sore and watery ‘pink’ eyes.
A red or dark pink rash is the next symptom. The spots are blotchy and join together. It usually starts on the face or behind the ears 3 days after the first symptoms, before moving down the body.
The rash is not usually itchy. It can last for a week or more. There may also be white spots in the mouth.
When to get medical advice
If you develop symptoms of measles at any time, are pregnant, or have a condition that affects your immune system, contact:
- your healthcare provider
- call Healthline on 0800 611 116 for free advice 7 days a week, 24 hours a day.
If it is an emergency call 111.
Before visiting your healthcare provider, tell them you have been in contact with someone who has measles. This will help them take steps to keep other people safe.