13 Jun 2019

Passengers on Auckland-Christchurch flight at risk of measles

8:51 pm on 13 June 2019

Hundreds of passengers who flew between Auckland and Christchurch last week have potentially been exposed to measles.

Pediatrician makes vaccination to small boy

Photo: 123rf.com

Canterbury medical officer of health Alistair Humphries said an infected person flew to Christchurch on a Jetstar flight last Thursday afternoon and then returned to Auckland two days later.

The flights are JQ237 and JQ236.

Jetstar Flight JQ237 left Auckland at 3.55pm on 6 June and arrived in Christchurch at 5.20pm.

Jetstar Flight JQ236 left Christchurch at 1.55pm on 8 June and arrived in Auckland at 3.20pm.

Mr Humphries said anyone on these planes who were not sure they had been immunised should check with their doctor.

If they have not been vaccinated they should stay home in isolation until 22 June.

He said if anyone became unwell with symptoms including dry cough, runny nose, headache, fever or a red blotchy rash should phone their doctor before visiting a GP or hospital, to avoid spreading the infection.

The health line is 0800 611 116.

New Zealand has seen outbreaks in Northland, Auckland, Bay of Plenty and Canterbury (now declared over). Cases have also been reported in the Waikato, Lakes, Capital and Coast, and Southern DHB areas.

Measles facts:

  • Measles is a highly infectious viral illness spread by contact with respiratory secretions through coughing and sneezing.
  • People are infectious from five days before the onset of the rash to five days after the rash starts.
  • Infected persons should stay in isolation - staying home from school or work - during this time.
  • The best protection from measles is to have two MMR vaccinations. MMR is available from your family practice and is free to eligible persons.
  • People are considered immune if they have received two doses of MMR vaccine, have had a measles illness previously, or were born before 1969.
  • Anyone believing they have been exposed to measles or exhibiting symptoms, should not go to the ED or after hours' clinic or general practitioner. Instead, call the GP first.

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