By NewsDesk @infectiousdiseasenews
In a follow-up on the measles outbreak in New Zealand, health officials reported an additional 165 confirmed measles cases last week, bringing the total to 1275 for the year to date with 441 (34.6%) hospitalizations.
The Auckland area continues to see the most cases with 1064 confirmed cases through today.
Of the 441 people that required hospitalization for their illness, 102 were in children under the age of one.
Of the total cases, 633 were unvaccinated and the vaccination status in 539 were unknown. Another 28 cases only received one dose of the MMR vaccine.
Auckland Medical Officer of Health, Dr William Rainger is asking parents not to delay getting children vaccinated at 12 months and at four years, and to make sure older children are vaccinated now if they have missed out.
Measles is a virus that can make adults and children very sick. It is highly infectious and can spread quickly and easily through breathing, sneezing and coughing. If you are not immune to measles, you can catch the disease just by being in the same room as someone who has it.
Measles can lead to hospitalization, serious complications (such as pneumonia and swelling of the brain) or, in rare cases, death. It is especially dangerous for pregnant women who are not immune, babies and people with weakened immune systems.
Measles symptoms include a high fever, runny nose, cough and sore red eyes. A few days later a rash starts on the face and neck, and then spreads to the rest of the body. You can have measles and spread it to others before you feel sick or show any symptoms.
The best protection against measles is to be vaccinated with the measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine. One dose of MMR will protect around 95% of people, while two doses protect around 99% of people.
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