Canterbury Health Laboratories has been designated the World Health Organization (WHO) National Measles and Rubella Laboratory (NMRL) for New Zealand since March 2005.


The NMRL's aim is to provide laboratory support for measles/rubella outbreak investigation and confirmation of measles/rubella cases using WHO recommended methods.


The specific objectives are to:

Provide laboratory support for measles/rubella surveillance and outbreak investigation
Provide laboratory confirmation of serologically identified measles/rubella cases
Collect samples from clinically suspected measles cases to identify measles/rubella virus strains
Participate in the WHO regional laboratory network for the Western Pacific region


Monitoring measles/rubella virus strains is an important tool in the identification of related outbreaks and helps with the World Health Organization’s commitment to eradicate the measles and rubella viruses globally.


Patients having the suspicion of being infected with measles or rubella virus should not visit their GP without prior telephone contact since both viruses are highly contagious and can easily be trasmitted in the waiting room.





[1] New Zealand (South Island): ex Indonesia (Bali) alert
Date: Thu 18 May 2017
Source: 1 news now [edited]

Health officials have issued a measles warning after a Christchurch [New Zealand] man contracted measles while holidaying in Bali [Indonesia].

Results from laboratory testing released today [18 May 2017] confirmed the 23-year-old man has measles.

Dr Ramon Pink, Canterbury Medical Officer of Health, says measles is highly infectious.

"The measles virus spreads easily from person to person through the air, via breathing, coughing, and sneezing. It starts with fever, runny nose, cough, red eyes, and sore throat. This is followed by a rash that spreads over the body," Dr Pink says.

[A list of places in the Christchurch area that may have been exposed to measles can be found at the source URL above. - Mod.LK]

People who aren't fully immunised are being asked to keep a close eye out for measles symptoms and anyone who was in the areas listed above are urged to phone their doctor if they are concerned.

The case is currently in isolation and his infectious period ends on [21 May 2017].

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People who are planning to travel to Indonesia in particular Bali, especially those with young children, should check if they have had 2 prior doses of MMR vaccine, since there are ongoing Measles outbreaks occuring in this region.




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