Measles out­break alert

Central Leader - - NEWS -

Pas­sen­gers on three Auck­land flights have been ex­posed to measles.

A per­son with measles, who was in­fec­tious at the time of travel, was on board an Air New Zealand flight from Auck­land to Christchurch on March 2 and an Air New Zealand flight from Christchurch to Auck­land on March 4.

A pas­sen­ger on a Sin­ga­pore Air­lines flight from Sin­ga­pore to Auck­land on March 4 was also in­fec­tious at the time of travel.

There have been 69 con­firmed cases of measles in Auck­land so far this year.

It can take 10 to 14 days for some­one who has caught the highly in­fec­tious vi­ral dis­ease to start show­ing any symp­toms.

Pas­sen­gers who sat near­est the in­fected pas­sen­gers have the high­est risk and are the Auck­land Re­gional Pub­lic Health Ser­vice’s first pri­or­ity, med­i­cal of­fi­cer of health Richard Hoskins says.

‘‘Their lo­cal pub­lic health ser­vice will try to con­tact them if they might be sus­cep­ti­ble,’’ Dr Hoskins says.

‘‘How­ever, be­cause measles is an in­fec­tious, air­borne dis­ease we want all pas­sen­gers to be aware and vig­i­lant.’’

Symp­toms start with a high fever which de­vel­ops about 10 days af­ter ex­po­sure to some­one with the virus.

This can be fol­lowed by a runny nose, cough, red eyes and small white spots in­side the mouth.

A red blotchy rash on the neck and face ap­pears af­ter three or four days be­fore spread­ing all over the body.

Measles risk: Pas­sen­gers on three Auck­land flights are ad­vised to watch for signs of measles. The highly in­fec­tious dis­ease starts with a high fever and de­vel­op­ing symp­toms in­clude a red blotchy rash, start­ing on face and neck and then spread­ing all over the body.

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