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SunLive – Two more cases of measles identified in the BOP

Health officials have identified two more cases of measles in Plenty Bay, bringing the total number of confirmed measles cases to 12 in the past month.

"The first of the new cases was known to have had contact with one of the previous local cases of measles and he was quarantined, hoping he could get sick," says Dr. Phil Shoemack, medical director of Health for Toi Te Ora Public . Cheers.

"We have not yet figured out if the second new case is tied to any of the others."

If you think you have measles, call in advance to get advice

"If you think you or anyone in your family can have measles, stay home and call your doctor to alert you to your symptoms and allow them to make arrangements to safely evaluate you and without infecting others, or call to Healthline 0800 611 116 for advice, "says Phil.

Check your immunity to measles

Measles is a very contagious viral disease that spreads easily from person to person. It can be serious, with about one in ten people with measles in need of hospital treatment. Immunization is very effective in the prevention of measles.

The vaccine that protects against measles is the MMR vaccine (measles, mumps and rubella).

"It is important for parents to ensure that their children receive their MMR routine immunizations on time, at 15 months and 4 years of age.

"If for some reason you've never taken a dose of the MMR vaccine, now is the time to get one.

"After only one dose of the MMR vaccine, about 95% of people will be protected against measles, and 99% of people who get both doses of MMR will be protected from measles."

People born before January 1, 1969 are considered immune because measles used to be very common and therefore this older age group does not need immunizations against measles.

It is particularly important to check your immunity if you are planning a trip abroad. The Ministry of Health recently pointed out that since 2012 all measles cases in New Zealand have come from travelers bringing the disease from abroad and that there are currently significant outbreaks of measles in many countries.

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