Vaccination clinics extended

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Photo / Warren Buckland
Photo / Warren Buckland

Northland health officials have set up an 0800 number and extended free vaccination clinics after another case of measles in the region.

Northland DHB has activated an 0800 number so that Northlanders can access information about measles after the outbreak in the region reached five cases - all in the Kerikeri/Whangaroa area.

The first four cases were related to a person who is believed to have contracted measles while at a regional kapa haka contest in Hamilton last month.

People can call 0800 222 030 at any time to get up-to-date information about measles and immunisation. As well, vaccination clinics will be held in Kerikeri High School today from 9am-3pm and tomorrow and Thursday at the DHB's Oral Health Clinic on 123 Hone Heke Rd, Kerikeri - from 9am-3pm.

Northland Medical Officer of Health Clair Mills said Northlanders need to ensure their families are protected.

"This is an avoidable disease where there is an effective vaccine. Immunisation protects not only the individual, but also stops the spread of this disease within our communities," Dr Mills said.

"There is a window of opportunity now to catch up on any missed vaccinations. Vaccination is a much better option than having a very sick child at home for a couple of weeks, or having your teenager miss two weeks of school."

Measles is spread by tiny droplets in the air and is very infectious, easily spreading to those nearby.

The first symptoms (fever, cough, runny nose and red eyes) can be mistaken for a cold, with the rash (appearing on the face and neck and spreading over the body) three to five days later.

Dr Mills said anyone displaying symptoms of measles should immediately phone their doctor or one of our Public Health Nurses on 0800 222 030 to seek advice.

- Northern Advocate

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