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17.7.2019

Auckland Regional Public Health Service (ARPHS) is alerting passengers on weekend flights between Auckland and Palmerston North that they may have been exposed to measles.

A passenger flew while infectious, but before they knew they had measles. The flight details are -

  • Air NZ 5119 from Auckland to Palmerston North on Sat 6 July, departing at 7.20am
  • Air NZ 5114 from Palmerston North to Auckland on Sunday 7 July departing at 2.30pm

Auckland Regional Public Health Service Clinical Director, Dr Julia Peters, says fellow passengers, plus anyone in Auckland or Palmerston North’s domestic terminals around the time of the flights, should watch for signs of measles.

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 Peters says.

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

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 about measles, visit our measles page or the Ministry of Health website.

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