11 Nov 2019

Measles outbreak: Person on flight from Samoa to Auckland infected

6:01 pm on 11 November 2019

A measles case has been identified on a flight from Samoa to Auckland.

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Measles poster at an airport in Samoa. Photo: RNZ Pacific / Jenny Meyer

The person, who did not realise they were infected, departed from Apia on the Air New Zealand flight NZ255 at 3.30pm on Thursday 7 November.

It touched down at Auckland Airport three hours later.

The Auckland Regional Public Health Service said anyone who was on the same flight or passed through the airport at the same time should watch out for measles symptoms.

"Passengers should talk to their doctor today or tomorrow if they have been told they have a weakened immune system, if they have a baby under 12 months who travelled with them, or if they are pregnant and know they are not immune to measles," it said in a statement.

Symptoms will start to show around Thurdsay this week, and can include high fever, runny nose, cough and sore red eyes.

Measles information:

  • If you are showing symptoms, call a doctor but stay at home - do not visit the GP as you could spread the disease at the waiting room.
  • Measles symptoms include a fever, runny nose, sore red eyes and cough, followed a few days later by a rash usually starting on the face before moving down the body.
  • You can have measles and spread it to other people before you start to show any symptoms or feel sick.
  • It can take about two weeks to be fully immune after being vaccinated.
  • Healthline offers free advice and has a translator service 0800 611 116.
  • Measles has a 90 percent infection rate, meaning nine out of 10 non-immune people who come into contact with an infectious person contract the disease.
  • Measles is a serious disease, and can lead to complications including pneumonia and in rarer cases brain damage or even death.

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