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09.07.2019

Auckland Regional Public Health Service (ARPHS) has been notified of a case of measles in a New Zealander travelling from Bali to Auckland. The person did not know they had measles at the time.

Auckland Regional Public Health Service Clinical Director Dr Julia Peters says people who may have been in contact with that person should be vigilant for symptoms of the highly infectious disease.

“It can take 7-14 days to start experiencing symptoms and 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,” Dr Peters says.

Measles is an airborne disease that spreads easily through the air via coughing and sneezing.

Flight details:

  • The person departed Bali (Denpasar) on Emirates Flight EK450 at 4.45pm local time on 3 July.
  • The flight landed at Auckland International Airport at 4.20am on Thursday 4 July.
  • The person was seated in economy class, near the rear of the plane.
  • People who were also seated in this location and who are not immune to measles may be at risk of catching the illness.

The passenger went into isolation shortly after arriving back in New Zealand.

Anyone who was on the same flight, or in the airport arrivals area around the same time as the case, should watch out for measles symptoms from around Thursday 11 July.

Dr Peters says those symptoms include a high fever, runny nose, cough and sore red eyes.

“A few days later a rash starts on the face and neck, then spreads to the rest of the body,” she says.

If you were on the flight and are unsure whether you’re immune to measles, talk to your doctor or call Healthline on 0800 611 116 for advice.

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

Vaccination with the Measles, Mumps, Rubella vaccine (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 or advice on measles, please call Healthline on 0800 611 116, or see our measles page or Ministry of Health website.

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