There are now five confirmed cases of measles in the Bay of Plenty region this month, with four other possible cases being investigated.

Dr Jim Miller, Medical Officer of Health for Toi Te Ora Public Health, said the most recent case does not appear to be linked to the group of related to the Mount Maunganui area.

"GPs and residents are now on the alert so we have also received four other reports of possible measles which we are currently investigating," Dr Miller said.

Immunisation is the best protection from measles and the vaccine that protects against measles is the MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine," he said

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"It's important that parents ensure that their children receive their free routine MMR immunisations on time at 15 months and 4 years of age.

Dr Miller said for anyone who had never had a dose of the MMR vaccine now was the best time to get one and it was highly effective.

"After one dose of MMR vaccine, about 95 per cent of people are protected from measles, and 99 per cent of people who have had both doses are protected from measles," he said

Miller said it was important to check your immunity if planning an overseas trip.

The Ministry of Health recently highlighted that since 2012, all cases of measles in New Zealand came from travellers bringing the disease from overseas and that there are significant measles outbreaks in many countries.

People born before January 1, 1969 are likely to be immune because measles used to be quite common and so this older age group does not need measles immunisation.


"If you think you or someone in your family may have measles, stay at home and phone your doctor to alert them of your symptoms and allow them to make arrangements to assess you safely and without infecting other people, or call the Healthline on 0800 611 116 for advice," Miller said.


For more information visit Toi Te Ora Public Health website or call the Immunisation Advisory Centre on 0800 466 863

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