Published Thursday 24 Oct 2019

Regional Public Health (RPH), Wellington has been notified of a confirmed cases of measles and is asking people who may have been in contact with this person to watch out for symptoms. The infected person visited several public places before they were diagnosed. At these times the person did not know they had measles.

Medical Officer of Health Dr Stephen Palmer is asking members of the public who visited the following locations at the relevant times, to find out if they are protected from measles and be aware of the signs and symptoms.

Friday 18 October:

Air New Zealand flight NZ429; Auckland to Wellington: at 1.00pm.

Wellington Airport: 2.10pm – 3.30pm

Super Shuttle from Wellington Airport: departing Wellington at 2.30pm and including drop offs at Bay Plaza Hotel and 300 Lambton Quay.

Ibis Hotel, 153 Featherston St, Wellington: 3pm – 4pm

Be aware of the symptoms of measles from Friday 25 October until Friday 1 November inclusive.

Saturday 19 October:

Ibis Hotel, 153 Featherston St, Wellington: 9.30am – 11.00am.

Newtown Countdown Supermarket: 3 John St, Newtown: 10.30am – 12 noon.

New World Thorndon, 150 Molesworth St, Wellington; 9.00pm – 11pm.

Thorndon Hotel, 24 Hawkestone St, Thorndon, Wellington: 8.30pm – 11.30pm.

Be aware of the symptoms of measles from Saturday 26 October until Saturday 2 November inclusive.

Sunday 20 October:

Thorndon Hotel, 24 Hawkestone St, Thorndon, Wellington: 11.30pm - 1pm.

New World Thorndon, 150 Molesworth St, Wellington: 12.30pm – 2pm.

Mercure Wellington Abel Tasman Hotel, 169 Willis St, Wellington: 2pm – 4pm.

Be aware of the symptoms of measles from Sunday 27 October until Sunday 3 November inclusive.

Monday 21 October:

Mercure Wellington Abel Tasman Hotel, 169 Willis St, Wellington: 8.45am – 10.15am.

Wellington Airport: 9.15am – 11.45am.

Air New Zealand flight NZ420; Wellington to Auckland: departing at 10.45am

Be aware of the symptoms of measles from Monday 28 October until Monday 4 November inclusive.

“RPH public health nurses will be trying to contact people who they are aware have been in contact with the unwell person, however, because measles is an airborne virus easily spread from person to person through the air via sneezing or coughing, anyone at the above locations at the times specified should remain vigilant until the dates indicated,” Dr Palmer said.

Measles Symptoms

Symptoms include a high fever, runny nose, cough and sore red eyes. A few days later a rash starts on the face and neck, before spreading to the rest of the body.

"You are most at risk if you’re not immune to measles, either because you haven’t been vaccinated or you haven’t had the disease previously. People who are not immune may start experiencing symptoms over the next week," Dr Palmer says.

Anyone over the age of 50 years is considered immune as they would have been exposed to the virus as a child. Other people can check their Well Child or Plunket book for at least one measles mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccination.

Anyone who was at the above locations at the specified times, who feels unwell, should phone their doctor or call Healthline on 0800 611 116 for advice.

Measles is a highly infectious airborne disease that spreads easily through the air via coughing and sneezing.

If you do start to develop symptoms that could be measles, contact your doctor. Be sure to call ahead to prevent potentially infecting others in the waiting room.

Vaccination with the MMR offers the best protection against measles. One dose will prevent measles in 95 per cent of people, while having two doses will protect 99 per cent of people who have the vaccine.

For more information about measles, visit the Regional Public Health website (http://www.rph.org.nz/measles/) and the Ministry of Health website www.health.govt.nz/measles).

ENDS

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