As of last evening there have been 778 confirmed cases of Measles in Auckland and there is a child in Starship hospital in a critical condition as a result of this totally preventable disease.
Yet some people refuse to vaccinate their children because of misinformation – so here are the facts .
About 1 in 10 people with measles will need hospital treatment and it’s a disease that can in some cases produce swelling of the brain resulting in death or permanent brain damage.
Measles during pregnancy increases the risk of miscarriage, premature labour and low birth-weight babies.
Other complications include ear infections (which can cause permanent hearing loss),diarrhoea,pneumonia and seizures
Up to 30% of people with measles will develop complications – usually children under 5 and adults over the age of 20.
You are contagious 5 days before to 5 days after rash onset, counting the day of rash onset as day 1.
Measles is highly contagious and affects both children and adults. If you think you have measles, it’s important to call your GP’s surgery before visiting your doctor to avoid you spreading the virus in the waiting room.
If you’re feeling sick, you should stay away from work, school or public places, to help prevent putting other people at risk.
This also applies if you or a family member aren’t fully immunised and may have been in contact with someone with measles.
By isolating yourself you will help protect vulnerable people including babies, pregnant women, cancer patients and others who are unable to be immunised and for whom the impact of the disease can be devastating.
YOU DO NOT HAVE TO SUFFER ANY OF THIS
In New Zealand, if you were born in 1969 or later, you can get the measles vaccine for free.
Two doses of the measles vaccine provides the most effective protection for yourself, your family and the wider community. After one dose of the MMR vaccine, about 95% of people are protected from measles. After two doses, more than 99% people are protected.
As with most medical treatments a very few people can suffer adverse affects. You are entitled to informed consent – not illinformed consent .Please discuss any concerns with your doctor.
Lastly if you are one of those people who believe in conspiracy theories such as our Ministry of Health is deliberately spreading misinformation , or you are a believer in struck off doctor Andrew Wakefield and his iil-founded discredited and dangerous propoganda that there is a link between vaccines and autism then please do not comment here as I will delete it.
If you think my ruling somehow violates your right to free speech- tough. Find somehwere else to publish your conspiracy theories. The Bill of Rights may entitle you to your opinion (however unfounded). It also entitles me to reject it and does not require me to publish it.
Bryan Bruce is one of NZs most respected documentary makers and public intellectuals who has tirelessly exposed NZs neoliberal economic settings as the main cause for social issues.