Kia ora koutou,
A measles case has been confirmed in New Zealand for the first time since the 2019 outbreak. There is currently no evidence of community transmission.
Te Aka Whai Ora has set up an Incident Management Team and we are working closely with Te Whatu Ora, Manatū Hauora and other agencies.
The person is an adult living in Auckland but they were infected overseas. They became infectious after their arrival in New Zealand. The confirmed case is now isolating at home and contact tracing is underway.
A media release will be sent out soon to help identify any members of the public who may’ve been exposed to measles at a number of locations. This will be available to view online at Manatū Hauora and Te Whatu Ora websites as soon as it is uploaded tonight. Further information is below.
As you know, whānau Māori are particularly vulnerable to measles, we saw the impact on our people in the 2019 outbreak.
With a case of measles in Aotearoa your critical role in protecting whānau and preventing the spread of measles by supporting good communications and supporting access to vaccinations is even more important.
We know you have plans in place for a measles case reaching our shores. We also know how hard you are working to support whānau through the current weather events.
To provide the latest information on the measles and understand how we can support your mahi we are holding an hui tomorrow (Tuesday 14 February) at 4.30pm. An invitation will follow.
If you have any immediate questions please contact your Regional Director.
Te Aka Whai Ora Incident Management Team
Please share the following information as appropriate
A measles case has been confirmed in New Zealand for the first time since the 2019 outbreak. The individual is an adult living in Auckland but they were infected overseas. They became infectious after their arrival in New Zealand. The confirmed case is now isolating at home and contact tracing is underway.
A media release will be sent out shortly to help identify any members of the public who may’ve been exposed to measles at a number of locations. This will be online to view at Manatū Hauora and Te Whatu Ora websites as soon as it is available. We will be in touch further as more information comes to hand. Please reach out if you need any support.
It is important to consider measles for anyone who has been in attendance at the listed exposure events in the media release, identify vaccine status and promote vaccine uptake. Should a patient present and advise they are a contact of a measles case please proactively initiate any required vaccinations and public health actions. Patients who were exposed to the case at high risk sites may be required to remain at home in self-quarantine unless proven to be immune. High risk exposure events will be posted on the Te Whatu Ora and Ministry of Health websites. Contacts may also contact Whakarongorau/Healthline for further information.
This message alerts you in case you experience additional demand for assessment and management and vaccinations from the community. You may also want to proactively contact any patients due for their immunisation.
Thank you for your support of this.
This acts as another timely reminder to clinicians to be alert for the signs and symptoms of measles, particularly in unvaccinated or immunosuppressed people who have recently returned from overseas. Measles is characterised by the presence of all of the following:
- Generalised maculopapular rash, starting on the head and neck then spreading down and out and fading
- Fever > 38ºC (if measured) present at the same time as the rash
- One or more of cough, coryza, conjunctivitis or Koplik spots present at the same time as the rash
Please refer to your local Health Pathways for more information about measles.
The best protection against measles is the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine. The MMR vaccination is free for people up to age 32 or anyone born after 1968 that hasn’t had two doses.
The first dose of MMR vaccine is due at 12 months of age. Vaccination is vital due to the risk of severe disease in this age group. Ensure tamariki are recalled before their first birthday so this dose can be delivered on time.
Is your patient population up to date with both doses of MMR? Please be aware that many children have missed out on their scheduled MMR during the last 3 years due to lockdowns.
There are also a number of people aged 17 – 32 years who have missed out on 2 doses of MMR. Please offer opportunistic vaccination to this cohort.
MMR is contraindicated in pregnancy because it is a live vaccine but can be given immediately post-partum.
Your local public health team will advise regarding vaccination of any close contacts. The MMR vaccine, if given within 72 hours of exposure to measles virus, may provide protection to the unimmunised and help limit the spread of measles.
Please call IMAC with any questions regarding vaccination of your patient, particularly if the person is immunocompromised.
Notify all suspected cases of measles to your local Medical Officer of Health
As measles is highly infectious, an urgent public health response is required to control any potential outbreak. Clinicians are reminded to notify all suspected measles cases immediately to the local Medical Officer of Health. Do not wait for laboratory confirmation before notifying.
- Visit Health Pathways nzportal.healthpathwayscommunity.org
- View the CD manual pages on measles: Measles Communicable disease control manual
- The Immunisation handbook can be viewed here: Measles Immunisation handbook
- Public health units: Public health contacts | Ministry of Health NZ
- Up to date information for consumers can be found here: Measles | Ministry of Health NZ
- MMR vaccination resources available to download: Dropbox – MMR – Simplify your life