Auckland Regional Public Health Service (ARPHS) is aware of a person who flew from Auckland to New Plymouth last Sunday and has since been confirmed as having measles.
Taranaki District Health Board’s Public Health Unit was notified of the case after medical attention was sought in New Plymouth.
Auckland Regional Public Health Service Clinical Director, Dr Julia Peters, says anyone who may have been in contact with the person in the departure area of Auckland Airport’s domestic terminal around the time of the flight should watch for signs of measles.
“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.
Anyone who was on the same flight, or in the airports’ departure or arrivals areas around the same time as the case, should watch out for measles symptoms from around Thursday 11 July.
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, before spreading to the rest of the body.
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.