September 2019
Tips and ideas for health and wellbeing from Health Navigator.

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Measles outbreak update

Measles: how to protect your baby during an outbreak and other facts

In the midst of any childhood disease outbreak it’s sometimes hard for parents to get all the facts they need to keep their children safe. We understand that and want to make it easier for you to know how to keep your wee ones measles free.

Here are some key facts for you:

1. Vaccination with the Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR) vaccine is the best protection against measles and the only way to prevent the disease. Children usually have 2 doses of MMR – one dose at 15 months of age and a second at 4 years of age. During the outbreak the age has been lowered to 12 months. Also babies aged 6–11 months can have their MMR immunisation early if there is a high risk of exposure to measles (for example, travel to places with serious outbreaks).

2. Some children can't be vaccinated. This may be because they are too young or too sick. You can help protect them by keeping the rest of your family’s vaccinations up to date. When enough people in the community are vaccinated, the spread of a disease slows down or stops completely. If enough people are vaccinated, the disease can't spread. This is called herd immunity.

3. If you can't vaccinate your child, the best way to protect them during an outbreak is to try to prevent them from coming into contact with the virus. You can help do this by making sure you:
  • Wash your hands. Just as you would to prevent germs at any time, use soap and water and scrub for at least 20 seconds then dry well. Remind others in your home, or anyone who is near your baby, to do the same.
  • Limit your child's exposure to crowds, other children, and anyone with a cold.
  • Go germ-free. Disinfect objects and surfaces in your home regularly.
  • Feed your baby breastmilk, if possible. It has unique antibodies to prevent and fight infections.
  • Vaccinate on time. Vaccination given on time is the only way to prevent measles. Make sure any other children or household members are vaccinated. If you aren't sure if you have had the vaccination, it is not harmful to have another.
  • Phone your doctor. If you think your baby or child may have measles call first before going to the clinic, to ask about how to keep others safe.
4. A person with measles is infectious from 5 days before and until 5 days after the rash appears (about 10 days in total). During this time the infected person needs to stay away from other people; children need to be kept home from school and adults from work, do not invite other children or visitors to your house.

5. Measles can cause serious complications including diarrhoea, ear infections, pneumonia and encephalitis (swelling of the brain). About 1 in 10 people with measles will need hospital treatment. Measles during pregnancy increases the risk of miscarriage, early labour and low birth-weight babies. 


Learn more about measles

General health round up

Like social? So do we!
For a daily dose of health and wellbeing follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. You can also watch our videos on YouTube or connect with us on LinkedIn.
Busting myths about palliative care
Palliative care is about providing dignified support and services for people of all ages facing a life-limiting condition. Although it's a service many of us, or those dear to us, might need, palliative care is widely misunderstood by many New Zealanders. 
What's normal vaginal discharge and what's not?
It can be hard to know what's 'normal' in terms of vaginal discharge. Find out what is normal and, if you’re concerned about your vaginal discharge, visit your GP or your local sexual health, women’s health or Family Planning clinic.
What are noroviruses and how do we prevent their spread?
Noroviruses are a group of very infectious viruses that cause stomach or gut infection leading to vomiting and diarrhoea. This is commonly known as having a tummy bug or 'gastro'. Find out how to prevent the spread of norovirus.

Parenting puzzles solved

Breastfeeding and alcohol
When you are breastfeeding, anything you eat or drink can find its way into your breast milk – including alcohol. So how much if any is okay to drink when you are breastfeeding?
Understanding bronchiectasis
Bronchiectasis is a long-term lung condition where the airways have become damaged, widened and thickened. Find out what causes bronchiectasis, how to relieve the symptoms and stop them getting worse.
Pregnancy and vaccinations
Expecting a baby? Find out what vaccines you need to help protect you and your baby against infections and illnesses during pregnancy.

Understanding your medicines

Why does my medicine look different?
Sometimes the suppliers of certain medicines change and as a result you you may notice slight differences in the appearance of your medicines or medical devices. There have been some changes to the following medicines recently: Amiodarone, Flecainide and Lamotrigine. 
Medicines that affect mood
Some medicines can cause changes in mood including feelings of sadness, despair and depression. If you are worried about changes in your mood, discuss this with your doctor or pharmacist immediately.

There's an app for that!

Apps to provide information about breastfeeding and alcohol
The Feed Safe NZ app provides information about alcohol and breastfeeding and contains official recommendations from the Ministry of Health

Video of the month

How blue light affects us
Getting too much blue light at the wrong time can affect your sleep, metabolism, immune function and even your mood. So what exactly is blue light, how can it affect you and what can you do to manage its impact on your life?
This issue of Healthy Tips was proudly brought to you by Health TV, an independent
television network for medical centre waiting rooms.
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