Sixty-four cases of measles reported in New Zealand

Health officials in New Zealand have confirmed 64 cases of measles in the Auckland region as of Wednesday with eight contacts in quarantine and five cases requiring hospitalization.

Most cases have occurred in West Auckland with some spread to North Shore, Central Auckland and Manukau, Voxy News reports. The Auckland Regional Public Health Service has traced over 400 contacts and found most of the new cases are from transmission of the virus in schools and households.

"Of the 64 cases, almost all are in unimmunized people," Dr. Richard Hoskins said, according to Voxy News. "We are continuing to work with schools and early childhood centers to quarantine susceptible contacts at home in case they develop measles."

Records have shown that there may be two people who contracted the measles despite having the correct number of immunizations for their age. Symptoms of measles include a cough, runny nose, fever and sore eyes followed by a raised red rash beginning on the face and moving to cover the rest of the body.

"Anyone displaying symptoms of measles should immediately telephone their doctor...for advice," Hoskins said, according to Voxy News. "It is important to call first because measles is highly infectious and people with it can infect others in the waiting room. Prompt identification can help limit the spread of measles to others, particularly vulnerable groups within the community."