Important health information – Measles preparedness
Three cases of measles (English measles) have been notified in the Wellington region.
What early childcare centres can do to be prepared:
1. Share this information with parents, care givers, and all staff (teachers, kitchen and administration staff, parent helpers).
2. Keep your immunisation register up to date (these registers are a legal requirement for early childcare education centres). Children who had not completed all their immunisations when they enrolled may have completed them by now. Ask parents to check their children’s immunisation records, catch up on any immunisations they may have missed out on, and inform the centre of any updates. Remind parents that they may like to check their own immunisation records.
3. Check that staff are protected from measles. Some schools have had to close in outbreaks when staff haven’t been able to quickly confirm their immunisation status.
During an outbreak
If someone develops symptoms of measles, separate them from others while they are waiting to be taken home and call Healthline on 0800 611 116 for advice as soon as possible. Regional Public Health will provide support during the outbreak. Follow the instructions of public health staff to make sure that the people with measles, and unimmunised people who have been exposed to measles, do not attend school while they are infectious.
Anyone, children, teachers and other staff, who are not immune to measles (fully vaccinated for their age) will need to stay away from the centre for at least 14 days if they have been exposed to measles. This may be extended if there are further cases of measles at the centre. Getting immunised now means you can avoid delay and disruption when an outbreak hits.
What is fully vaccinated for age for children?
What is fully vaccinated for adults? Adults are considered protected if they have had doctor diagnosed measles or 2 doses of a measles vaccine given after 12 months of age. Measles immunisation has been given at different ages since it was introduced in NZ in 1969. The following table will assist teachers, staff and parents determine if they are protected from measles.
Immunisation Measles vaccine is free from medical centres and we strongly encourage anyone who is not vaccinated to get their vaccine as soon as possible. An information sheet about measles can be found at here.
For further information on measles and measles immunisation, please visit the Ministry of Health website or the Immunisation Advisory Centre website. You can also call the Immunisation Advisory Centre toll-free on 0800 IMMUNE (0800 466 863) for advice.