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Measles outbreak: Warning to Wellington residents as more cases detected

Four further cases of measles have been confirmed in Wellington, taking the total for the year to 15 in the region.

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Photo: 123rf.com

Medical Officer of Health Annette Nesdale said the infected people visited several public places before they knew they were infected – which is when the disease is most contagious.

On 18 June, infected people took the 7.59am train from Johnsonville to Wellington, and the return train at 5.17pm. That evening they also visited Midnight Espresso cafe, Daiso shop and a McDonald’s on Manners Street.

On 20 June and 21 June, they used the lifts in the James Cook Hotel to get between The Terrace and Lambton Quay during the day.

And on Monday, they visited the Countdown Pharmacy on High Street in Lower Hutt in the early afternoon around 1.15pm.

Dr Nesdale said people who were in those areas should watch out for symptoms, and contact their GP if they’re not sure whether they are immunised.

The Immunisation Advisory Centre said two doses of the free measles, mumps and rubella vaccine is 99 percent effective in preventing measles.

More than 200 cases of measles have been confirmed in New Zealand since the start of this year, with the majority in Auckland.

Measles facts:

  • Measles is a highly infectious viral illness spread by contact with respiratory secretions through coughing and sneezing.
  • People are infectious from five days before the onset of the rash to five days after the rash starts.
  • Infected persons should stay in isolation – staying home from school or work – during this time.
  • The best protection from measles is to have two MMR vaccinations. MMR is available from your family practice and is free to eligible persons.
  • People are considered immune if they have received two doses of MMR vaccine, have had a measles illness previously, or were born before 1969.
  • Anyone believing they have been exposed to measles or exhibiting symptoms, should not go to the ED or after hours’ clinic or general practitioner. Instead, call the GP first.

RNZ