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Measles case on flight to Palmerston North

MidCentral DHB’s Public Health Service is aware of a person who flew from Auckland to Palmerston North on Saturday 6 July, and returned to Auckland on Sunday 7 July who has since been confirmed as having measles.

The passenger travelled on:

• Air NZ 5119 from Auckland to Palmerston North on Saturday 6 July, leaving at 7.20am.

• Air NZ 5114 from Palmerston North to Auckland on Sunday 7 July, leaving at 2.30pm.

MidCentral DHB’s Medical Officer of Health, Dr Rob Weir, says fellow passengers, plus anyone in Auckland or Palmerston North’s domestic terminals around those times, 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 Weir says.

Measles is an airborne disease that spreads easily through the air via coughing and sneezing.

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.

For more information about measles, visit the MidCentral DHB website or the Ministry of Health website.


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