Pacific travellers encouraged to get measles vaccination

Travellers to and from Auckland are being warned to vaccinate against measles at least two weeks ahead of time to prevent the viral illness spreading.

New Zealand's Director of Public Health said a lot of people have close ties with the Pacific region and with school holidays approaching, many plan to travel.

Caroline McElnay said the Ministry is seeing a substantial number of measles cases in Auckland and wants to limit the outbreak.

"As people who may not be aware that they've got measles but are in the early stages of infection, as those people travel overseas, and that includes the Pacific and we know there's a lot of people from Auckland do travel to the Pacific, there's a real chance that they may infect others when they're in the Pacific."

Dr McElnay recommends immunising travelling children from the age of twelve months.

She said people can be reassured the MMR vaccine is very safe.

The Ministry advises people who have early symptoms of measles such as a fever, cough, runny nose or sore eyes not to travel.

More information on measles is available on the Ministry of health website.