Measles can also lead to complications, including:
- ear infections
- swelling of the brain (encephalitis) — this is rare but can cause permanent brain damage or death
- weakened immune system for up to 3 years after measles, leading to more infections such as chest infections.
Up to 1 in 3 people with measles develops complications. They are usually:
- tamariki under 5
- adults over 20
- people with weakened immune systems.
Pregnancy and measles
If you get measles while you are pregnant it can make you very sick and can harm your pēpi. You could lose the pēpi (miscarriage) or have early labour.
If you were immunised against measles before becoming pregnant, you are most likely protected. If you have not had the measles vaccine you should not have it during pregnancy.
Pregnant people who think they have measles, or who had contact with someone with measles, should call their midwife or doctor as soon as possible.
Pregnancy and immunisations