Viruses, bugs and illnesses to look out for over summer

Here are a few viruses, bugs and illnesses to look out for over summer! Remember Healthline is available on 0800 611 116 24/7 for health advice. 


Measles spreads easily among people who are not immunised. The best protection against measles is two doses of the free MMR vaccine – this provides lifelong protection in 99% of people. The MMR vaccine is free for anyone aged 18 and under, and those over the age of 18 who are eligible for free healthcare in New Zealand.

Check whether you are immunised against measles by:

  • Checking the vaccination page of your Wellchild
  • or Plunket book (if vaccinated in New Zealand)
  • Checking your immunisation certificate
  • Looking at your online health record
  • Contacting your doctor, or your usual healthcare
  • or hauora provider

If you think you may have measles, stay at home and call a healthcare provider or Healthline on 0800 611 116 for more advice.

Gastroenteritis (gastro/tummy bug)

Gastroenteritis (gastro/tummy bug) is highly infectious, and large numbers of people can be affected in a short amount of time. Main symptoms are normally diarrhoea (runny poo) and vomiting (being sick).

To guard against gastro, it’s important to wash your hands with soap and water, and dry your hands thoroughly, especially:

  • before eating or preparing food
  • after going to the toilet
  • when changing nappies
  • after contact with an infected person

If you’re concerned, contact your usual medical centre or hauora provider, or call Healthline on 0800 611 116.


You or someone you’re travelling with could get COVID-19 while on holiday.

If you test positive for COVID-19, here’s what to do:

  • It is recommended you isolate for at least 5 days.
  • If you have taken a rapid antigen test (RAT), report your positive result online or by calling the helpline.
  • Find out if you are eligible for free antiviral medicine to treat COVID-19.
  • Monitor and manage your symptoms. Symptoms for COVID-19 tend to show 2 to 5 days after a person has been infected.

Call 0800 3585453 for free COVID-19 health advice, any time, any day, even on Public Holidays.

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