A resident of Tāmaki Makaurau has been diagnosed with measles after traveling abroad. The individual is currently receiving care in isolation at Auckland City Hospital. Public health officials are working closely with the hospital team to identify individuals who may have been in contact with the infected person before they were isolated.
Authorities will inform those who were in the emergency department at Auckland City Hospital at the same time as the patient and provide them with advice on immunity, vaccination, and quarantine.
While infectious, the person visited a bakery in Takanini for around 15 minutes. There is a potential risk of infection for anyone who was in the bakery for up to an hour after the individual’s visit. It is advised that anyone who was present during that time period should watch for symptoms and stay at home. If symptoms develop, they should contact their doctor or Healthline without visiting a healthcare facility beforehand.
Measles symptoms typically begin with a fever, cough, runny nose, and watery “pink” eyes, followed by a rash. There are a small number of close contacts in the infected person’s household and workplace. Those who are not immune to measles through vaccination or previous infection will be required to self-quarantine at home.
Authorities emphasize the urgency of responding to this single case to prevent further transmission of the disease. Measles is highly contagious among non-immune individuals. It is crucial for people to stay vigilant and be aware of the symptoms, ensuring that children between 15 months and 4 years old receive their MMR vaccinations.
To protect against measles, it is recommended to receive two doses of the measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine. Two MMR vaccines are available free of charge for those 18 years and under, as well as for New Zealand residents over 18. Individuals can consult with their GP, parent, or caregiver if they are uncertain about their immunization status or have not received the MMR vaccine.
People are considered immune if they have received two doses of the MMR vaccine, been previously infected with measles, or lived in New Zealand before 1969. Due to the high contagiousness of measles, individuals with symptoms should avoid visiting their GP or after-hours clinics and instead contact their family doctor/GP team for guidance to minimize the risk of transmission to others.
This marks the fourth case of measles in Auckland in 2021, with the previous three cases in February and May being linked to overseas travel. Authorities highlight the importance of ensuring vaccination before traveling abroad to prevent the importation of the virus.
Source: National Public Health Service Northern region Clinical Director Lavinia Perumal