By NewsDesk  @infectiousdiseasenews

Measles is circulating in New Zealand, particularly in the Auckland region. From 1 January 2019 to 5 September 2019 there have been 1051 confirmed cases of measles notified across New Zealand. 877 of these confirmed cases are in the Auckland region.

Immunization Advisory Centre director Dr Nikki Turner told local media it is a “very sad” milestone to reach.

“This was entirely predictable and preventable, so it is very disappointing for us.”

The outbreak has prompted a run on vaccines, which has led to Auckland clinics running out, with patients are being told they would have to wait days to get them.

This time last year there were 12,000 doses of MMR distributed nationally over a month. There were 9000 distributed yesterday alone.

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Measles is a highly infectious airborne virus which affects both children and adults. If you think you have measles, it’s important to call before visiting your doctor to avoid you spreading the virus in the waiting room.

If you’re feeling sick, you should stay away from work, school or public places, to help prevent putting other people at risk, health officials said.

Measles can be life threatening: about 1 in 10 people with measles will need hospital treatment.

Measles can also lead to other complications, including ear infections (which can cause permanent hearing loss), diarrhea, pneumonia, seizures and swelling of the brain – this is rare, but can cause permanent brain damage or death.

Measles and the MMR vaccine

Up to 30% of people with measles will develop complications – usually children under 5 and adults over the age of 20.

Measles during pregnancy increases the risk of miscarriage, premature labour and low birth-weight babies.

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