29 Aug 2019

Queenstown on alert for measles

4:03 pm on 29 August 2019

Alerts for measles have been issued in Queenstown after a second resident was diagnosed in the past seven days.

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Photo: 123rf.com

The Southern District Health Board confirms its public health staff are investigating who may have been exposed to the infectious person.

The person visited Countdown Frankton, Betty's Liquor store in Frankton, Frankton McDonalds, Remarkables Takeaway Shop and used the public bus to Lake Hayes between 17 and 22 August while infected.

Public health physician Dr Anura Jayasinghe said the measles spread via breathing, coughing and sneezing through infectious droplets in the air.

"While infectious, the case has had contact with a significant number of people in Queenstown," Dr Jayasinghe said.

"The measles virus spreads easily via infectious droplets from person to person through the air via breathing, coughing and sneezing. It usually takes 10 days for someone to develop fever, and 14 days to develop a rash. Symptoms include a high fever, runny nose, cough and sore red eyes.

"A few days later a rash starts on the face and neck, before spreading to the rest of the body."

Anyone who isn't sure about their immunity should contact their GP or check their immunisation.

The health board said the resident may have been infectious while at the following locations:

  • Countdown Frankton, 5.30 - 6.30pm, Saturday 17 August
  • Betty's Liquor store Frankton, 4.00 - 4.30pm, Sunday 18 August
  • Frankton McDonalds, 4.30 - 5.00pm, Sunday 18 August
  • Public bus to Lake Hayes, 4.00 - 5.00pm 18 TO 22 August
  • Remarkables Takeaway Shop, 4.30 -5.30pm, Thursday 22 August

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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