Measles Outbreak Christchurch March 2019

With the current measles outbreak throughout Christchurch and Canterbury, the following information has been advised by Christchurch District Health Board. You can find more information available here 

(Here is an education video we found on youtube)

What is Measles?

Measles is a serious and highly contagious disease which affects both children and adults. Generally, 1 in 10 people who catch it will require hospital care. 30% of people can have complications, most at risk being children under 5 years of age, adults over 20 and pregnant women.

How does it spread?

  • Measles spreads easily from person to person through the air, via breathing, coughing and sneezing.
  • If you catch measles you are infectious 5 days before and until 5 days after the rash appears.
  • If you develop symptoms it is extremely important to stay in isolation if you’re asked to do so, to protect vulnerable people including babies, pregnant women, cancer patients and others who are unable to be immunised.


The illness starts 7–18 days after you’ve been exposed. If you have measles, you’ll get the following symptoms:
• Fever, cough, runny nose, headache
• Sore and watery ‘pink’ eyes
• Sometimes small white spots on the back inner cheek of your mouth.
• A blotchy rash which tends to start on your face, behind the ears, before moving over your head and down your body. The rash lasts for up to a week.


2 doses of the measles vaccine provide the most effective protection for yourself, your family and the wider community. After 2 doses of the MMR vaccine, more than 95% of people are protected from measles. It is advised that GP’S prioritise groups for immunisation as follows:

1. Children and young adults 5-28 years who are either not immunised or not up to date with MMR (only had one dose).
2. Children 12 months to 5 years who have never been immunised.
3. Adults aged 29-50 (This group only received one dose of the vaccine.)

Canterbury DHB is expecting more doses to be available in GP Clinics from Wednesday 14 March.

Please note SportsMed does not offer this vaccine as we are not a GP practice, we encourage you to contact your GP if you require vaccinations of MMR.

If you have an appointment booked and are experiencing measles symptoms, we kindly ask you not to come into the clinic and to please contact SportsMed reception on 03 366 0620.

Kind regards,
SportsMed Team

About The Author

SportsMed Team

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