Regional Public Health (RPH) Wellington has been notified of a case of measles and is asking people who may have been in contact with that person to watch out for symptoms.
The infected person visited several public places, including taking a domestic flight from Auckland to Wellington, before they were diagnosed. At these times the person did not know they had measles.
Medical Officer of Health Dr Craig Thornley is asking members of the public, who may have been in the following locations at the relevant times – and are unsure if they are immunised against measles – to call their GP during opening hours and advise them of the situation. Anyone requiring assistance during the weekend, or after hours should call Healthline on 0800 611 116.
Dates and known locations for the infectious person:
Monday: 1 July 2019
Auckland Airport (domestic terminal) on 1 July from 15:00 (3pm) to 17:00 (5pm) around the Jetstar check-in area and gate number 24.
Jetstar flight JQ263 on 1 July, departed Auckland airport at 16:00 (4pm) direct to Wellington.
Wellington Airport on 1 July from 17:15 (5:15pm) to 18:45 (6:45pm) around the arrivals area for Jetstar flights and associated luggage areas.
Tuesday: 2 July 2019
Midnight Espresso café, Cuba Street, Wellington 2 July from 16:00 (4pm) to 21:00 (9pm)
Measles is highly contagious
Measles is most infectious in the days before a measles rash develops. It can take 7-14 days for someone who has caught measles to start showing any symptoms. Measles symptoms include: a high fever, cough, runny nose, red eyes and a rash that starts on the face and neck before spreading elsewhere.
Dr Thornley says, “Measles is highly contagious and the virus is spread easily from person to person through the air via sneezing or coughing.
“We will be trying to contact people who we are aware have been in contact with the unwell person, however, because measles is an airborne disease anyone who was at the above listed locations at the times specified, should remain vigilant until 17 July.”
Measles is a serious illness which can be prevented by being immunised. “The MMR (Measles, Mumps and Rubella) vaccine is a free vaccine and offers the best protection against measles. Two doses are required to give maximum protection. These are usually given at around 15 months and four years, however you can receive the vaccine at any age after 12 months.”
The only way to avoid catching measles is to have had two measles vaccines after your first birthday or if you have previously had measles.
“Please check with your doctor to see if you and your family are protected. By getting immunised, you will not only be protecting yourself or your child, you’ll also be stopping the disease from spreading in our communities.” says Dr Thornley.
Anyone who was at the above locations at the specified times, who feels unwell, should phone their GP or call Healthline (available 24/7) on 0800 611 116 for advice. It is vitally important to call first before seeing a doctor because measles is highly infectious, and people with measles can infect others in the waiting room.