Measles confirmed at the University of Auckland

Thursday 8 August 2019

The University has confirmed several cases of measles in some of our faculties.

We are asking all students and staff to be extra vigilant for the symptoms of measles, in yourself and your friends and colleagues.

Anyone in the following courses may have an elevated risk of exposure, due to confirmed cases having attended these courses recently:

  • BIOSCI 101
  • BIOSCI 106
  • CHEM 110
  • COMPSCI 110
  • MEDSCI 142
  • MEDSCI 206
  • PHYSICS 160

The symptoms of measles include a fever, cough, runny nose, sore/red eyes, or a rash that appears on the face and then moves down the body.

There is a possibility you may have caught the illness, but your risk is very low if you have been fully immunised or you have had measles before.

What you should do

  • Ask your doctor or your parents if you have had two doses of the measles vaccine (MMR). If you or your parents have your New Zealand blue Well Child book (the Plunket book), your vaccinations are usually recorded there.
  • International students will need to check with their doctor or parents at home that they have had two doses of the MMR vaccine after one year of age.
  • You are considered immune if you have had two doses of MMR; if you were born before 1969; or you have had a previous documented case of measles. If you are immune, you do not have to do anything.
  • If you have not had two doses of measles vaccine and have not had measles, phone your GP or after hours medical clinic about getting vaccinated. If you do not have a GP please contact University Health and Counselling Service. The best protection against measles is immunisation.
  • If you develop measles symptoms – a fever, runny nose or cough, sore red eyes, or a rash that appears on the face and then moves down the body – please call your GP, after hours clinic or Healthline 0800 611 116 for advice. Healthline has translators available if English is your second language.
  • If you have symptoms please phone your medical clinic before you go so they can isolate you to prevent the spread of measles to other patients. You should avoid contact with other people as much as possible while you are waiting for advice.
  • If you are immunocompromised or pregnant, you may wish to contact public health for specific advice on 09 623 4600.
  • It may take up to 14 days for an unprotected individual to develop the disease after exposure to an infectious person. Please watch out for the symptoms as outlined above.

Please be aware that measles is a serious and highly infectious viral disease that can make people very sick. One in ten people with measles needs hospital treatment. It is spread from person to person through the air by breathing, sneezing or coughing.

If you have any queries or need more information about measles please visit the Auckland Regional Public Health Service website.

In the interest of the health of your fellow classmates, please report any confirmed or suspected measles cases to your Course Coordinator. Your identity will be treated with the utmost confidentiality.