Topic: Health

Measles alert issued in central Auckland

By Online News - Rereātea
  • Auckland

Medical Officer of Health Michael Hale has confirmed a measles alert for various locations in central Auckland and Newmarket.

The alert was issued to those who are not immune to the virus. 

People who have visited the locations below at the respective times could be exposed to measles;

  • K Road City Travellers Hostel 08/08/16 - 13/08/16, All day, 146 Karangahape Road, Newton 
  • Zarbo deli & café, 10/08/2016 2.30 - 5pm, 11/08/2016 9am - 2pm, 24 Morrow St, Newmarket
  • The Auckland City Doctors waiting room 9/08/2016 10am - 1pm, 415 Queen St, Auckland CBD 
  •  Auckland City Hospital adult emergency waiting room 13/08/16 7am - 1pm Auckland City Hospital, Grafton

Symptoms of those who may be affected by the disease include fever, a runny nose, cough and sore red eyes. After a few days, a red blotchy rash starts on the face and spreads to the rest of the body. 

Michael Hale says, "People who are feeling unwell and have visited these locations at the times suggested should immediately telephone their doctor or Healthline on 0800-611-116 for advice. It is very important to phone in advance because measles is highly infectious and you could infect other people in the medical waiting room." 

If you are not immune you can contract the disease by walking past an infected person or by being next to them in a lift, café or waiting room.

People who visited these locations during the specified times are being urged to stay at home in isolation for 14 days after exposure to the disease if:

  • They are not immune to measles
  • They are unsure about their measles immunity and haven’t had a blood test to confirm their immune status

Those in isolation should remain at home and call Healthline or their doctor for further advice. They cannot visit other people and should stay away from public places, events, social activities and school/work environments.

People are considered immune:

  • If they have received two doses of MMR vaccine and/or
  • If they have previous measles illness and/or
  • If they were born before 1969

People who have only had one dose of MMR vaccine are also being encouraged to see their doctor for a free second dose.

"My plea is that people follow medical instructions if they are required to be in isolation. For everyone else it’s a timely reminder to check their immunisations are up-to-date. Measles cannot be treated once you get it so the only way to protect yourself is to be fully vaccinated.

People tend to underestimate measles - the reality is it can be a nasty disease causing serious long-term health complications," says Hale.