High risk of measles outbreak

If you have measles symptoms, such as a fever and a rash, you should seek medical advice urgently. Call your doctor/GP or ring Healthline for free anytime on 0800 611 116.

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.

How do I know if I'm protected?

Latest measles Locations of Interest (LOIs)

There are no current locations of interest. 

Measles Immunity

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.

How to find evidence of measles immunity

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.

More information

If you are a contact of someone with measles

This section provides general information for measles contacts and approved public health advice for close and casual contacts

If you may have been exposed to measles, keep an eye out for symptoms for 14 days from the day of exposure.

Close contacts

Casual contacts

Measles symptoms

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.

Find out more about measles - key resources

Measles is a serious and highly contagious illness, which can affect adults as well as children. Te Whatu Ora has developed printable and shareable resources for primary care, after-hours clinics and emergency departments, businesses and community groups.