Published Tuesday 29 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 Annette Nesdale 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 (more details below).

Tuesday 22 October:

Coastlands Mall, Paraparaumu: 9.30am – 11am.

The Warehouse, Paraparaumu: 10am – 11.30am

Pak n’ Save, Paraparaumu: 10.30am – 11.45am

Be aware of the symptoms of measles from now until Tuesday 5 November inclusive.

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 Nesdale 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

For media enquiries contact: 027 583 3240.