Health officials in New Zealand warn of a potential measles spread. A student from Northland was diagnosed after visiting Wellington and flying to Auckland. This suggests the measles could be spreading wider in the community.
Measles is highly contagious, spread by coughing and sneezing. It can lead to serious complications such as brain inflammation, which can be fatal.
Students who joined the Shakespeare event at Scots College, Wellington, are now isolating due to a measles diagnosis among attendees. The diagnosed student took Jetstar Flight JQ258 from Wellington to Auckland on 3rd October.
Locations of interest include Alan Gibbs Centre, Wellington Accident and Emergency Centre, and Wellington Zoo.
People who visited these places at the same time as the infected person should consider vaccination, especially if they aren’t sure about their immunity. Symptoms to watch for include a rash appearing two to four days after initial symptoms.
The current case is not linked to other New Zealand cases and there’s no recent international travel history, raising concerns of community transmission. Dr Ankush Mittal of Northland Public Health stressed the importance of vaccination, as the source of infection is unknown.
Most people can safely take the MMR vaccine even if unsure about previous doses. Pregnant women or those with weak immunity should seek medical advice.
Symptoms of Measles:
- Starts with fever, cough, runny nose, and eye inflammation lasting 2-4 days.
- Possible white spots inside the mouth.
- A rash begins at the hairline, spreading to the body, arms, and legs, lasting up to a week.
People who visited the following places should be cautious:
- Roxy Cinema and Café, Miriamar: 30th September, 9.30am-12.30pm.
- After Hours Pharmacy, Adelaide Rd: 1st October, 9pm-10pm.
- Wellington Zoo: 1st October, 9.15am-11pm.
- Zambrero Restaurant, Te Aro: 1st October, 9.55pm-11pm.
- Wellington Metlink bus no 1: 1st October, 9.55pm.
- Whitby’s Restaurant + Bar, The Terrace: 2nd October, 5.30pm-7pm.
- Wellington Airport: 3rd October, 10.30am-1pm.
- Jetstar flight JQ258: 3rd October, 1.15pm-2.15pm.
- Auckland Airport, Jetstar baggage area: 3rd October, 2.15pm-4pm.
Those identified as close contacts at these venues should quarantine.