Five people in Hamilton have been hospitalised with measles
as the number of confirmed cases in the city has risen to 60.
The disease has continued to spread in Hamilton and while
still largely associated with Fraser High School, there was
also a confirmed case at both Hamilton Girls' High School and
Hamilton Junior High School.
Waikato District Health Board medical officer of health Dr
Anita Bell said it was investigating around another 14
suspected cases throughout the city.
"It's important that with the spread outside of the Fraser
High School community, that people make themselves aware of
the signs and symptoms of measles and to check their child's
immunity status," she said.
Those at risk included people younger than 45 years old who
had not had two doses of the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR)
vaccine or had not had a laboratory confirmed positive
Children over four years old who have not received their
second dose of MMR and infants under the age of 15 months who
have not received their first routine dose of MMR vaccine
were also at risk.
"They are susceptible and rely on everyone else to be immune
so that measles does not spread to them," Dr Bell said.
"Measles can be a very serious illness, with one in three
sufferers experiencing complications such as ear infections,
pneumonia, bronchitis or diarrhoea.
"While one in 10 on average requires hospitalisation,
admission rates in this outbreak have been higher."
Immunisation was the best protection from the potentially
serious disease, Dr Bell said.
Anyone displaying measles symptoms, including fever, cough,
blocked nose and sore red eyes should immediately telephone
their doctor or Healthline on 0800 611 116 for advice.
Families were advised to call their doctor before visiting if
they suspected someone had measles to avoid spreading the
disease while waiting, Dr Bell said.
Measles is spread by tiny droplets in the air and is one of
the few diseases that can spread so easily to those nearby.