17 Feb 2023

Measles outbreak: Officials still working to contact people possibly exposed

7:38 pm on 17 February 2023
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Photo: 123rf.com

People in Tauranga who travelled on a chartered bus to a festival on Sunday are being urged to stay at home if they are not immune to measles.

It comes as one case of measles is confirmed in New Zealand.

The National Public Health Service said it was making "good progress" in tracing people who may have come into contact with the case.

No further cases have been reported as this time.

A media release said a number of exposure events had been identified and some were considered low risk.

But people who travelled to That Weekend festival on a chartered bus to or from Willow Street in Tauranga and Okoroire Hot Springs Hotel on Sunday are of concern.

Those who are not immune to measles and have not been contacted should call Healthline and stay home until they are contacted.

"While all known bus ticket purchasers have been contacted, Public Health wants to ensure that anyone who may have travelled on a ticket purchased by someone else receives the appropriate public health advice."

The health service said 84 contacts from these buses had been identified.

"Seventy-nine records have been closed as they have either been determined to be immune or not at risk of infection.

"Public health is still working to reach three of these contacts, and two people are in quarantine. Contacts who are fully vaccinated are not required to quarantine."

Te Whatu Ora spokesman Nick Chamberlain said measles is a "highly infectious" disease and can spead easily to people who are not immune.

Symptoms take around 7-14 days to develop after exposure.

They include fever, cough, runny nose, sore and watery 'pink' eyes, followed by a blotchy rash.

"It must be reiterated that MMR vaccination is the best protection against measles, and the most important thing people can do to protect themselves is to ensure that they and their tamariki are immunised," Chamberlain said.

"MMR is given as two doses - if you're not sure that you've had two doses, play it safe and get vaccinated. There are no safety concerns with having an extra dose. Te Whatu Ora - Health New Zealand, Te Aka Whai Ora, and the National Public Health Service remain committed to keeping people and whānau safe from measles."

Healthline can be contacted on 0800 611 116.

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