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Measles breaks out in New Zealand

18 August 2011 09:40

Tourists have been warned of a measles outbreak in New Zealand

Tourists have been warned of a measles outbreak in New Zealand

A new measles outbreak in New Zealand has come as a major worry for British backpackers planning to spend their holidays in the island country.

The contagion has already infected more than 120 people in the upper North Island and is spreading to more areas, according to authorities.

Tourists are better advised to grab a comprehensive medical travel insurance deal before heading off to the country.

Auckland, where the outbreak was reported first, has 109 confirmed cases so far, whereas 20 cases have been reported from Waikato. Taupo and Northland are also listed among the affected areas.

Of the 20 instances reported from Waikato, 19 had not been immunised and one had received only one of the recommended two doses of the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine, according to Medical Officer of Health Dr Anita Bell.

Dr Bell said: "This is a testament to the effectiveness of the MMR vaccine in protecting people who are fully immunised.

"Immunisation is the only protection from this potentially serious disease. Immunisation protects not only the individual, but also blocks the spread of this disease within our communities.''

Those who have symptoms of measles including fever, cough, blocked nose and sore red eyes have been advised to immediately contact their doctor or Healthline on 0800 611 116.