A student at New Zealand's largest school is one of the latest cases of measles confirmed in Auckland, as the city faces the most serious outbreak of the disease in recent years.
Rangitoto College today sent a message to parents and caregivers informing them that a Year 9 student has been diagnosed with measles.
The school has put preventative measures in place to attempt to stop the spread of the disease among its roll of more than 3200 students.
It has recommended that Year 9 students who either have not been vaccinated or do not know their vaccination status stay home for the rest of the week "or until otherwise notified".
Year 9 students who have had the MMR vaccine are required to show proof of their immunisation in order to attend school.
To prove this, students are required to take their Well-Child Book (or Plunket Book) or a photocopy of the immunisations page tomorrow, September 24. Teachers will be checking these books.
Students who attend year 9 and don't provide this are being asked to stay at home until further notice.
The school says there is "negligible risk to students in Years 10-13" and these students should continue attending school as normal.
The Herald has contacted Rangitoto College for comment.
Temporary priorities for MMR vaccine in Auckland
• General practices have been asked to keep most of their vaccine for children aged under five years.
• GPs may also vaccinate some people aged under 30 who have not had any MMR vaccinations, based on their clinical judgement.
• In this outbreak, Pasifika and Māori people are more seriously affected by measles than other groups and are a priority for vaccination.
As of yesterday afternoon, there have been 1384 confirmed cases of measles across New Zealand since the start of the year, 1151 of these confirmed cases are in the Auckland region.
Measles: Who should get vaccinated?
• Anyone who has not received at least one dose of a measles-containing vaccine or who has not already had measles is most at risk from the virus.
• The MMR vaccine is free to people born on or after January 1, 1969. Adults born after this date who are not sure if they are vaccinated are recommended to get a catch-up shot once there is sufficient supply of the vaccine.
• People aged over 50 are presumed to be immune as they are likely to have caught the disease when they were younger.
• Medical authorities are targeting vaccination efforts at children under 5, who are the most vulnerable to catching the disease and to complications.
• Pacific peoples and people aged 15-29 are also a priority as these are the groups where the disease is spreading the fastest.
• Vaccinating within 72 hours of exposure can help stop the disease's spread. DHBs are being asked to try and vaccinate susceptible close contacts of infected people within this timeframe if possible.