New Zealand Reports Measles and Mumps Outbreaks

CDC Travel Alert issued for New Zealand’s measles outbreak
New ZeALAND Landscape
New Zealand (Vax Before Travel)

A Level 1 Travel Alert, Practice Usual Precautions, has been issued regarding the measles outbreak in New Zealand. 

This US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Travel Alert issued on November 16, 2018, means travelers to New Zealand should make sure they are vaccinated against measles with the MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccine.   

This CDC announcement is a significant change in New Zealand’s successful vaccination program. 

In 2017, New Zealand was verified by the World Health Organization as having eliminated endemic measles.

This means that no cases of measles have originated in New Zealand in the past three years. However, measles is often imported into New Zealand following international travel. 

Additionally, New Zealanders are confronted with a mumps virus outbreak. 

On November 8, 2018, three people in Hawke's Bay have been found to have mumps. 

Hawke's Bay District Health Board (DHB) is urging parents to check their children's mumps immunizations. 

The CDC says international travelers who cannot show that they were vaccinated or are otherwise protected against measles or mumps, should get vaccinated before leaving the United States.

The CDC says: 

  • Infants (6 through 11 months of age) should have 1 dose of MMR vaccine, and
  • Adults and children over 1 year of age should have 2 doses of MMR vaccine given on or after the first birthday and separated by at least 28 days.

Measles is a disease that can lead to serious complications, such as pneumonia (infection of the lungs), and even death. Measles is caused by a highly contagious virus that is spread through the air by breathing, coughing, or sneezing. Signs and symptoms of measles include rash, high fever, cough, runny nose, and red, watery eyes, says the CDC.   

Mumps is a contagious disease caused by a virus. It typically starts with a few days of fever, headache, muscle aches, tiredness, and loss of appetite, followed by swollen salivary glands. 

Additionally, the CDC says Americans planning to visit New Zealand should confirm their MMR, DTaP, Varicella, and polio vaccinations prior to departure.

And, the CDC Healthy Travel Packing List for New Zealand contains a list of health-related items to consider packing for your trip. 

These items include medications, consumer medicines, and first aid products. 

These items and travel vaccinations can be easily scheduled with a local pharmacy when visiting Vax-Before-Travel. 

The CDC Vaccine Price List provides private sector vaccine prices for general information.

And, vaccine discounts can be found here.  

Vaccines, like any medicine, can have side effects. You are encouraged to report negative side effects of vaccines to the FDA or CDC.