Canterbury Health Laboratories has been designated the World Health Organization (WHO) National Measles and Rubella Laboratory (NMRL) for New Zealand since March 2005.

 

The NMRL's aim is to provide laboratory support for measles/rubella outbreak investigation and confirmation of measles/rubella cases using WHO recommended methods.

 

The specific objectives are to:

Provide laboratory support for measles/rubella surveillance and outbreak investigation
Provide laboratory confirmation of serologically identified measles/rubella cases
Collect samples from clinically suspected measles cases to identify measles/rubella virus strains
Participate in the WHO regional laboratory network for the Western Pacific region

 

Monitoring measles/rubella virus strains is an important tool in the identification of related outbreaks and helps with the World Health Organization’s commitment to eradicate the measles and rubella viruses globally.

Important:

Patients having the suspicion of being infected with measles or rubella virus should not visit their GP without prior telephone contact since both viruses are highly contagious and can easily be trasmitted in the waiting room.

 

 

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ALERT:

Measles cases confirmed in Christchurch, Wanaka and Queenstown

 

Monday, 9th of April 2018

Three cases of measles have been confirmed in the South Island.

Canterbury district health board's medical officer of health Dr Ramon Pink said the cases were reported in Christchurch, Wanaka and Queenstown.

All three people were likely to have been exposed in Queenstown Airport on either 21 March or 22 March, he said.

The Southern and Canterbury DHBs have identified anyone in close contact with the three people, none of whom were immunised.

Dr Pink said anyone else who had been exposed who wasn't immunised was likely to fall ill this month.

People should call their doctor for advice if they thought they had been exposed and avoid visiting clinics in the first instance, he said.

MEASLES FAST FACTS​

  • Measles is highly contagious - if one person has it, 90% of the people close to that person who are not immune will also become infected.

  • It can take up to 3 weeks for symptoms to appear, you should phone your family doctor/general practice team 24/7 for #carearoundtheclock if you are concerned. If it's after-hours a nurse will answer the call and advise what to do and where to go if you need to be seen.

  • Measles cannot be treated once you get it so the only way to protect yourself is to be fully vaccinated.  People are only considered immune if they have received two doses of MMR vaccine and/or have had a measles illness previously and/or were born before 1969.

  • Adults born before 1969 are considered immune to measles because the virus is so infectious and a measles vaccine was not available in New Zealand until 1969.

 

 

 
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