Auckland is presently in the grip of a serious measles outbreak. Your local South Botany Doctors at Botany Medical and Urgent Care recommend immediate immunisation. South Auckland measles vaccination is the best way to stop the spread of the illness in our local community.

Measles -What is it?

Measles is a highly dangerous, very infectious viral illness. Measles is spread mainly by coughing and sneezing. However, the virus can live for several hours on surfaces – making it possible to become infected through contact with everyday objects, such as door handles, school books and toys, and just about anything else we touch.

Measles is extremely difficult to contain once an epidemic or outbreak is in progress. People become infectious five days before the onset of a rash – meaning they can pass the illness on to others. That status lasts until five days after the rash appears, meaning many sufferers unwittingly infect the people around them.

What are the symptoms of measles?

Symptoms of measles can include fever, coughing, a runny nose, irritated and reddened eyes, before the onset of a rash.  If you’re in any doubt about your symptoms, act fast and contact your local Botany GP at Botany Medical and Urgent Care.

How can I protect myself, my family, and the broader community from measles?

The best way to halt the current Auckland measles outbreak is for people to get immunised as quickly as possible. Only when the vaccination rate is high enough will the spread of this potentially deadly disease be halted. Medical experts are united in calling for measles immunisation Auckland and New Zealand wide. 

As Measles took hold in Auckland earlier in August, Immunisation Advisory Centre director, Dr Nikki Turner told the New Zealand Herald that, “Unless New Zealand can do more to improve our community immunity, to stop these cases continuing to spread to others, we are at significant risk of losing our elimination status.”

Eliminating Measles in New Zealand – Protecting the Wider Community

World Health Organisation (WHO) Immunisation status is vitally important to people and communities in New Zealand. New Zealand’s authorities worked hard after severe outbreaks between 2013 and 2015, to gain a WHO measles elimination status. What that means for the population is that outbreaks starting on home soil are highly unlikely, or even impossible – occurring only in occasionally isolated cases, for instance, if a traveller picks up the illness overseas. 

With a healthy immunisation rate and WHO elimination status, New Zealand would be well placed to prevent and fight outbreaks of measles. With elimination status lost, however, and immunisation rates far too low, outbreaks like the current one would become typical. That’s why Botany Medical and Urgent Care recommends you protect yourself, your loved ones, and the wider community from measles – by getting vaccinated immediately.

Who is getting infected with measles in Auckland and New Zealand?

The Institute of Environmental Science and Research say that 90% of people who’ve become infected with measles in 2019 hadn’t been vaccinated. 

The WHO, along with all the world’s medical professionals, recommend a 95 per cent national vaccination rate. That figure would protect every New Zealander from measles – including the very young, the sick, and immunocompromised people. That’s the vaccination rate which can halt the spread of measles in New Zealand. However, the rate is currently just 91 per cent, with infant rates as low as 61 per cent in some places. 

Who can get a free measles vaccination in Auckland?

If you were born during or after 1969, you’re entitled to get a free measles vaccination Auckland and New Zealand wide. People born before 1969 are considered to be immune from measles because they were exposed to the virus before vaccination programmes began. 

People of all ages who’ve received two doses of the vaccination are also considered to be immune. It’s recommended that infants and children receive the measles vaccination when they become a year old and that they receive a second dose at the age of four years. Infants who are travelling overseas should be vaccinated, in which case they can get the vaccination from six months of age onwards. 

Get South Auckland Measles Vaccination with BM&UC

The very best form of protection against measles is to get vaccinated. That goes for individuals, but it’s a scientific fact that when enough people within our communities get vaccinated, the whole population benefits and New Zealand will be a safer place for all. Botany Medical and Urgent Care is providing the people of South Auckland measles vaccination, and we encourage you to call us on 09 280 1790. If you already feel unwell, make sure to call ahead in order for your local Botany doctor to help you prevent infecting others with the illness.