Measles

Understandably we have been getting lot of phone calls about measles this morning! Here are some key pieces of information which may be helpful.

 

Auckland regional public health (ARPH) is responsible for working out measles case contacts (contact tracing):

 

  • ARPH will call you if you are known to have been in contact with a confirmed case of measles. If you have been contacted by ARPH please follow the guidelines provided by them.

 

  • If you think you have been in contact with another person with measles and have not been contacted by ARPH, please contact them.

 

The only effective way of preventing measles infection is immunisation. We recommend anyone older than 1 year of age (& born after 1968) who has not had at least 1 vaccination to book in with their GP clinic for a free vaccination.

 

The following advice is relevant if you have not been in contact with a known case of measles:

 

  1. There are lots of viruses giving fevers over 38 degrees out there! Please be aware of the signs and symptoms of measles.

 


Photo credit: Jim Goodson, M.P.H, used courtesy of the CDC/Molly Kurnit, M.P.H

 

  • The rash is present in all cases and can emerge anywhere from day 2-5 of the illness.
  • Sore eyes (conjunctivitis) is present in the vast majority of cases.

 

2. Testing: The nose swab is a reliable test between 2 days before the rash to 3 days after. The tricky thing is the rash can come anywhere from day 2 to day 5 from the start of the illness. As we can’t predict when the rash will come it’s hard to know when to test and the answer is different for different situations, see below for immunised and non-immunised children:

 

Immunised children:

 

With a single vaccine from 15 months of age 95% of children are fully immune to measles.

 

  • If your child has a fever with conjunctivitis please keep them at home. We want to see your child at day 4-5 of the illness.  
  • If they are very unwell (persistent fever > 39 despite regular paracetamol/ibuprofen, dehydration, poorly controlled pain) we would like to see them sooner.
  • If they have been unwell for 5 days with fever and conjunctivitis and there is no rash it is very unlikely they have measles, but we will still want to examine them before bringing them into the building. You can book them in for a review with the GP at day 4-5 but please advise reception this is for a measles check. We will arrange for an examination at the rear of the building. DO NOT ENTER THROUGH THE FRONT OF RECEPTION.

 

Non-immunised children:

 

  • If your child is not immunised for measles and has a fever with conjunctivitis please keep them at home and call or IM us through our website during working hours for advice. We would typically arrange nasal testing at day 2-3 of the illness, which may pre-date the rash.
  • If your child becomes very unwell (persistent fever > 39 despite regular paracetamol/ibuprofen, dehydration, poorly controlled pain)  we would like to see them sooner.
  • If they are urgently unwell out of hours please call an ambulance or attend your local out of hours clinic for advice and follow the instructions on the door.