Te Whatu Ora has confirmed a second case of measles in Tāmaki Makaurau (Auckland) within the last seven days. This new case is unrelated to the previous one that was reported last week but is also linked to recent overseas travel. The individual who has been infected visited the North Shore Hospital emergency department on September 22 and the Waitakere Hospital emergency department on September 24.
Public health authorities are working closely with Te Whatu Ora – Waitematā staff to identify individuals who may have come into contact with the infected person during their time at the emergency departments. It is important to note that the individual was not infectious when they entered New Zealand earlier in September.
In addition to identifying contacts at the hospitals, public health officials are also assessing the immunity status of staff and children at the Busy Bees Hobsonville early learning service. The infected person attended the service for three days while they were infectious from September 19 to 21.
Dr. Jay Harrower, the national public health service northern region medical officer of health, explained that the first symptoms of measles include fever, cough, runny nose, sore and watery pink eyes. These symptoms are followed by the appearance of a blotchy rash. Measles is highly contagious and spreads rapidly among individuals who are not immune. People are considered immune if they have received two doses of the measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine, have previously had measles, or were born before 1969.
It is important for individuals to ensure that they are up-to-date with their immunizations. Two MMR vaccines are available for free for individuals aged 18 years or under, as well as for New Zealand residents over 18 years of age. If anyone is unsure about their vaccination status, it is recommended to consult with a healthcare provider.
Health authorities are urging individuals who suspect that they or someone in their whānau (family) may have measles to familiarize themselves with the symptoms and to contact their healthcare provider before visiting in person. Calling for advice first helps to reduce the risk of spreading the virus to others. If a GP cannot be reached, Healthline can be contacted for free at any time on 0800 611 116, with interpreters available if needed.
This recent case underscores the importance of staying vigilant and ensuring that immunizations are up to date, especially in light of the ongoing risk of measles from overseas travel.
(Source: Stacy Squires/The Press)
– Tāmaki Makaurau: The Māori name for Auckland, New Zealand.
– Te Whatu Ora: A healthcare organization in New Zealand.
– Runny nose: Excess nasal discharge.
– Infectious: Capable of causing infection.
– Immunity: The ability of the body to resist or fight off a specific infection or disease.
– GP: General Practitioner, a primary healthcare provider.
– Quarantine: Isolation or restriction of movement for individuals who may have been exposed to a contagious disease to prevent further spread.
– MMR vaccine: Measles, mumps, rubella vaccine.
– Whānau: The Māori word for family.
– Healthline: A New Zealand healthcare helpline.
Sources: None provided.