Message for American Citizens regarding the Measles

Measles is circulating in New Zealand, particularly in the Auckland region.  Please follow the Ministry of Health link for more details about the 2019 measles outbreak. 

Measles is a disease caused by a virus that is spread through the air by breathing, coughing, or sneezing. Measles virus is highly contagious and can remain so for up to 2 hours in the air or on surfaces. Symptoms of measles are rash, high fever, cough, runny nose, and red, watery eyes.

CDC recommends that travelers to New Zealand (https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/none/new-zealand) protect themselves by making sure they are vaccinated against measles with the MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine.  Before departure from the United States, 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 separated by at least 28 days.

The New Zealand Ministry of Health is advising those with travel plans to Auckland to make sure every family member has been vaccinated against measles prior to commencing travel, keeping in mind that the vaccine takes two weeks to become effective.  Visitors may wish to consult the NZ Immunization Schedule for general guidance. For more specific questions, contact a health care professional. 

We strongly recommend that U.S. citizens traveling to or residing in New Zealand enroll in the Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) at Travel.State.GovSTEP enrollment gives you the latest security updates, and makes it easier for the U.S. embassy or nearest U.S. consulate to contact you in an emergency.  If you don’t have Internet access, enroll directly with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. 

Regularly monitor the State Department’s website, where you can find current Travel Warnings, including the Travel Warning for the New Zealand, Travel Alerts, and the Worldwide Caution.  Read the Country Specific Information for New Zealand.  For additional information, refer to “A Safe Trip Abroad” on the State Department’s website.

Contact the U.S. embassy or consulate for up-to-date information on travel restrictions.  You can also call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries.  These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).  Follow us on Twitter and Facebook and download our free Smart Traveler iPhone App to have travel information at your fingertips.