Measles case count rises to six

The Northland Age - - Local News -

A Whanga¯rei child who was last week re­ported as North­land’s fifth measles vic­tim (An­other case of measles, June 4) has been cleared, but two new cases have been no­ti­fied, tak­ing the re­gion’s tally to six.

The ‘false pos­i­tive’ di­ag­no­sis of the preschoole­r prompted the Three Lit­tle Birds child­care cen­tre in Tikipunga to vol­un­tar­ily close its doors, with staff and chil­dren who did not have full im­mu­ni­sa­tion asked to re­main in iso­la­tion for 14 days.

The North­land District Health Board con­firmed on Tuesday that the ini­tial re­sults from tests car­ried out at a lab­o­ra­tory in Auck­land had been in­cor­rect, fur­ther test­ing over the week­end prov­ing that the boy did not have measles.

Three Lit­tle Birds’ op­er­a­tions man­ager Elysa Schus­ter said the ex­pe­ri­ence had been stress­ful for ev­ery­one, in­clud­ing the child and his fam­ily, a dif­fi­cult few days be­ing made by neg­a­tive feed­back via so­cial me­dia, ac­cus­ing the cen­tre of be­ing lax.

“That’s so un­fair, we did ev­ery­thing by the book. This could have hap­pened any­where,” she said.

The DHB said the cen­tre had acted re­spon­si­bly, mi­cro­bi­ol­o­gist Dr David Ham­mer say­ing ev­ery po­ten­tial case had to be treated with high sus­pi­cion un­til proven other­wise.

“Al­though nu­cleic acid am­pli­fi­ca­tion tests are usu­ally ex­tremely ac­cu­rate, no test is per­fect, and oc­ca­sion­ally we will en­counter false pos­i­tive and false neg­a­tive re­sults,” he added.

Mean­while the two lat­est con­firmed cases were fam­ily mem­bers of a 19-yearold net­baller who was ad­mit­ted to ICU with a com­pli­ca­tion of measles.

Two premier net­ball teams were put in iso­la­tion after com­ing in con­tact with the player. They were now in iso­la­tion, and the teenager was well on the road to re­cov­ery, a DHB spokesman said.

Thirty-six peo­ple, in­clud­ing the two teams, had been put into home iso­la­tion, while the DHB had since iden­ti­fied more than 100 con­tacts, and was work­ing to es­tab­lish who had no ev­i­dence of im­mu­nity.

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