A person in Tāmaki Makaurau has been confirmed with measles after recent overseas travel.
National Public Health Service Northern region Clinical Director Lavinia Perumal says the case is currently being cared for in isolation in hospital. The person presented to Auckland City Hospital adult emergency department on the evening of 17 September.
“Public health is working closely with the Auckland City Hospital team to identify people who may have come into contact with the individual for a short time, before the person was isolated from others.
“We will be informing close contacts who were in ED at this time about their exposure, and they will be given advice on immunity, vaccination and quarantine,” Dr Perumal says.
The person with measles also was in a Takanini bakery for around 15 minutes while infectious on Tuesday 12 September, but there is still a risk of infection for anyone there up to an hour afterwards.
Members of the public who were at Bake & Beans, 108 Great South Road, Takanini between 5.15 to 6.45 pm are asked to watch for symptoms from today.They should stay home and phone their doctor or Healthline on 0800 611 116 if they develop symptoms, but they should not attend a health service without advising the service first.
The first symptoms of measles include a fever, cough, runny nose and sore and watery ‘pink’ eyes. This is followed by a blotchy rash.
There are also a small number of close contacts in the household and at a workplace. All close contacts who are not immune to measles through vaccination, age or previous infection will be required to quarantine at home.
“Our first priority is to respond to this single case to stop further transmission,” says Dr Perumal.
The case was not infectious when they flew into New Zealand earlier this month.
“Measles is a very serious illness that spreads very quickly amongst people who aren’t immune.
“We urge people to stay alert to symptoms of measles and ensure that children between 15 months and 4 years receive their normal vaccinations,“ says Dr Perumal.
The best protection against measles is to be vaccinated with two doses of the measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine. Two MMR vaccines are free for anyone 18 years or under, and for New Zealand residents aged over 18 years. If you or anyone in your whānau has not had an MMR vaccine or aren't sure, ask your GP, parent or caregiver.
People are considered immune if they have received two doses of measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine, have had a measles illness previously, or lived in New Zealand prior to 1969.
Because measles is so infectious, it’s important that people with symptoms don’t visit their GP or after-hours clinics but phone their family doctor/GP team for advice first, to limit the risk of the virus being spread to other people.
There have been three earlier cases of measles in Auckland this year, one in February and two in May, linked to overseas travel.
“It is important that people travelling overseas make sure they have had their MMR so they do not bring the virus back into the country,” says Dr Perumal.