measles outbreak nz problems, symptoms and treatments


July 15, 2019

With the recent outbreak of Measles in New Zealand, it’s important that you and your children are vaccinated. If you’re not too familiar with Measles - it’s a highly contagious respiratory disease caused by a virus. It’s easily spread by coughing, sneezing or talking. Just being in the same room as someone with measles can lead to infection if you are not immunised. It can cause serious health complications including swelling of the brain. It can even cause death! 1 in 10 people with measles will end up in hospital.

The first sign of measles is a high fever which can last up to 7 days. Other symptoms include sore throat, runny nose, red eyes, rash, and tiny white bumps in your mouth. 

Someone with measles is infectious from 5 days before and until 5 days after the rash appears (about 10 days in total).

People! You have to make sure you and your children are vaccinated otherwise you have a 90% chance of getting it. The best way to protect against measles is Vaccination with the MMR vaccine. You’ll need 2 doses to be fully immunised.

If you start seeing symptoms check with your doctor. You may still be able to get the vaccine which can stop it or lessen the symptoms. 

There are no specific treatments for measles, but If you or your child has symptoms of measles, the following could help:

  • Call your doctor, book an appointment 
  • Rest
  • Drink plenty of fluids including water and herbal teas
  • Use a humidifier to relieve a cough and sore throat
  • Rest your eyes
  • Use pain relief such as ibuprofen and paracetamol to reduce pain and discomfort
  • A doctor can prescribe antibiotics if there is a bacterial infection i.e. pneumonia or an ear infection
  • Vitamin A. For children who have low levels of vitamin A, giving vitamin A may lessen the symptoms of measles. 

    Measles has a 50 percent death rate for New Zealand children with low immunity, the Ministry of Health says. 

    Get immunised, stay alive. It’s a win-win! 

    Here’s our own Doctor Sash on Seven Sharp explaining Measles in New Zealand 👇

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