There has been a big spike in Auckland's measles outbreak, with 126 new cases in the last eight days.

The big rise in infections takes the year's total to 509 and made last week the worst since the outbreak started.

The majority of Auckland cases - 288, or 57 per cent - have been in South Auckland, putting huge strain on Middlemore Hospital, which has opened a dedicated measles ward.

A leading immunisation expert now wants more Government funding to halt the disease.

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Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter would not commit to that yesterday, but said she had asked

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