Official advice for New Zealanders living and travelling overseas

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Measles - check you are protected before you travel

Measles is a highly infectious virus that spreads easily from person to person through the air, via breathing, coughing and sneezing. It affects both children and adults. A number of countries overseas continue to have measles outbreaks, including parts of Europe, Asia (particularly the Philippines, Vietnam, India and China), Africa, Chile and Brazil. Closer to home, there have been outbreaks in the Pacific in parts of Australia, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, and the Federated States of Micronesia, as well as in New Zealand.

Measles outbreaks overseas will continue to occur from time to time until this disease is eliminated. New Zealand is at risk of outbreaks if travellers who are not immune bring the infection back into the country. This is also the case for some other vaccine preventable diseases, such as mumps and rubella.

The New Zealand Ministry of Health is consequently advising travellers to ensure that their measles vaccination and other routine immunisations are up-to-date prior to overseas travel.

Check with your doctor whether you and your family are protected against measles - especially adults born after December 1968 as you may not have been fully immunised. Two doses of the vaccine are required to ensure full protection against the disease. All NZ residents born from 1 January 1969 who haven’t had two doses of measles vaccine in the past are eligible for free measles vaccinations.

This advice is in addition to any travel specific vaccinations that may be required. More information can be found on the Ministry of Health website

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