A second person has been confirmed with measles in Tāmaki Makaurau in the last seven days. This case is unrelated to the measles case notified last week but is also linked to recent overseas travel.
Public health is working closely with Te Whatu Ora – Waitematā staff to identify people who may have come into contact with the individual while they were waiting in emergency departments.
The person was at the following hospitals:
• North Shore Hospital emergency department – night of 22 September
• Waitakere Hospital emergency department – night of 24 September
The case was not infectious when they flew into New Zealand earlier this month. Public health is also assessing the immunity of staff and children at Busy Bees Hobsonville early learning service, where the case attended for three days while infectious from 19 to 21 September.
Public health are identifying contacts for this event and contacting them to provide information on public health action and support.
“The first symptoms of measles include a fever, cough, runny nose and sore and watery pink eyes. This is followed by a blotchy rash,” says National Public Health Service Northern region Medical Officer of Health Dr Jay Harrower. “The illness spreads very quickly amongst people who aren’t immune.”
People are considered immune if they have received two doses of measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine, have had a measles illness previously, or were born before 1969.
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.
“We urge everyone to familiarise themselves with the symptoms of measles and to call your healthcare provider if you suspect anyone in your whānau has measles,” says Dr Harrower.
Because measles is so infectious, it’s important that people who are in quarantine or those with symptoms don’t visit their GP or after-hours clinics, but phone their family doctor or GP for advice first. This is to limit the risk of the virus being spread to other people. If you cannot call your GP, you can call Healthline for free anytime on 0800 611 116. Interpreters are available if you need one.
“Given that this is the second case in one week from overseas travel, we are reminding people to be up to date with their immunisations,” says Dr Harrower. “If you are unsure whether you’ve had one or two doses of MMR, there’s no additional risk in getting another dose.”
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