JOHN KIRK-ANDERSON / STUFF
Canterbury health doctor Dr. Ramon Pink said that this latest case highlighted the need for younger members of the community to have their vaccines programmed in time.
A Rangiora preschool was confirmed as the fifth measles case in Canterbury.
The announcement came after health officials said on Tuesday that three people in Rangiora and Christchurch had contracted measles: a teenager, a man and a woman in their 40s. A fourth person with the disease was confirmed on Thursday.
Four of the five confirmed cases are from Rangiora.
None of the first group was considered fully immunized. People are considered immune if they have taken two doses of the measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine, have had the disease before or were born before 1969.
CONSULT MORE INFORMATION:
* Fourth measles case confirmed in Canterbury outbreak
* Three new measles cases confirmed in Rangiora and Christchurch
* Second case of measles identified in South Island
An 18-year-old college student in Dunedin has also been confirmed with measles last Friday. The woman was not considered to be immunized, health officials said.
Canterbury Health Doctor Dr. Ramon Pink said the latest case highlighted the need for the youngest members of the community to have their vaccines programmed in time.
"The measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine, which protects against measles, must be received at 15 months and four years, according to the National Ministry of Health's vaccination schedule.
"Measles is a serious, potentially fatal disease. It is extremely infectious and spreads easily through tiny droplets. [from] a cough or a sneeze … and that is why it is vital that you protect yourself and those around you, making sure you have taken two doses of the MMR vaccine without delay, "Pink said.
The Ministry of Health publishes data showing the number of children who received all age-appropriate immunizations for each frame age.
The vaccines are detailed in New Zealand's immunization schedule, which lists the series of vaccines offered free of charge to protect against various diseases.
Of the 63,413 children who completed 5 years in 2018, 55,800 or 88% were fully immunized for age. The parents of 3160 children in the cohort had refused at least one of the available vaccines.
- Measles is highly contagious – if a person has it, 90% of the people who are not immune will also be infected.
- Measles can take up to three weeks for the symptoms to appear.
- Symptoms include coughing, runny nose, swollen eyes, sore throat, fever and a red, stained rash.
- Measles can not be treated as soon as you do so the only way to protect yourself is to be totally vaccinated.
- People are only considered immune if they received two doses of the MMR vaccine, had a measles disease previously or were born before 1969.