There have been more than 1400 cases of measles in Auckland but it appears the outbreak has now passed its peak, with new cases declining, experts say.

Three people remain in hospital in Auckland and they are all children in the Counties Manukau area.

Over the past three weeks there had been fewer numbers and fewer hospitalisations, medical officer of health William Rainger told reporters this afternoon.

"That gives us ongoing optimism that the outbreak in Auckland has reached its peak and may be now declining."

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However, with the school holidays and an incubation period of 14 days public health officials were still monitoring the situation.

Dr Karen Bartholomew, the director of health outcomes for the Waitematā and Auckland DHBs, said the new MMR vaccine stock had arrived and was being distributed to DHBs nationwide.

The priority groups for vaccinations would continue to be 12-month-olds, 4-year-olds and those under 30.

But the additional vaccine would allow them to start focusing on some wider groups such as people in an early childcare setting.

Rainger believed the large amount of vaccinations carried out in recent months would have had a very positive impact on curtailing the outbreak.

The concern remained that Auckland cases could still spread to other parts of New Zealand, Rainger said.

The public health unit in Auckland was working closely with others nationwide for contract-tracing of people who had travelled and were found to be contagious.

Northland and Southland were seeing cases but he declined to say whether they would be considered outbreaks, saying that would be a matter for the Ministry of Health.

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Authorities have previously said they were cautiously optimistic that the outbreak had peaked in August, and were hoping strong vaccination efforts were paying off.

The latest nationwide figures appear to back that up, with a downward trend in measles cases across the country.

But there was a risk more cases of measles could start popping up outside Auckland as contagious people travelled during the school holidays.

The number of confirmed measles cases each week appears to be trending downward since a peak in September, according to data from the Institute of Environmental Science and Research. Image / ESR
The number of confirmed measles cases each week appears to be trending downward since a peak in September, according to data from the Institute of Environmental Science and Research. Image / ESR

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From January 1 to October 10 there have been 1742 confirmed cases of measles notified across New Zealand, with 1416 of these confirmed cases in the Auckland region, the Ministry of Health says.