measles rash closeup

Measles advice, 19th September 2019

The recent outbreak of measles is continuing with an increase of cases in Auckland. The Ministry of Health recommends that people born between 1969 and 1990 have an MMR booster as they probably only received one MMR vaccination instead of two when they were children. Measles symptoms include a respiratory-type of illness with dry cough, runny nose and headache. Temperatures can be over 38.5C and people feel very unwell. A red blotchy rash starts on day four to five, usually on the face before moving to the chest and arms. The time between exposure and the first symptoms is about 10 days. People are considered infectious from about five days before to five days after rash onset.

If you are planning on becoming pregnant, there are two options recommended by the Ministry of Health:

  • Have an MMR vaccination and wait a month before trying to become pregnant, OR
  • Have a blood test to measure IgG antibodies to Measles. The results of the blood test are usually available within 48-72 hours. If your antibody levels are sufficient, you should have enough immunity. If they are low, then you should consider MMR vaccination.

See the Ministry of Health information webpage for more information about measles:

If you are currently in treatment with us and have any concerns, please call your nursing team on 0800 483 105 and they will be able to help.

If you are already pregnant and worried, please go to your G.P and ask for immunity testing.