Four cases of measles confirmed in BOP

A total of four cases of measles have been confirmed in the Bay of Plenty.

Toi Te Ora Public Health has identified the cases over the last three weeks, which have been linked to the Mount Maunganui area.

The cases follow recent measles outbreaks in Christchurch and Auckland.

Medical Officer of Health Dr Jim Miller says the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine is the best chance of protection against the disease.

He's now urging all residents in the Bay of Plenty to ensure their immunisations are up to date.

“It’s important that parents ensure that their children receive their free routine MMR immunisations on time at 15 months and 4 years of age,” says Dr Jim Miller, Medical Officer of Health for Toi Te Ora Public Health.

He says if you have never had a dose of MMR vaccine now is the time to get one, as the vaccine is highly effective.

“After one dose of MMR vaccine about 95% of people are protected from measles, and 99% of people who have had both doses are protected from measles.”

He says people born before 1 January 1969 are likely to be immune because measles used to be quite common and so this older age group does not need measles immunisation.

“If you think you or someone in your family may have measles, stay at home and phone your doctor to alert them of your symptoms and allow them to make arrangements to assess you safely and without infecting other people, or call Healthline on 0800 611 116 for advice.”

Sam Gardner