14 Nov 2019

Travellers from Apia to Auckland had measles infection

11:06 am on 14 November 2019

Two flights from Samoa to Auckland during the weekend were carrying passengers with measles, Auckland's Regional Public Health Service says.

A poster at a medical centre warns against the spread of measles.

A poster at a medical centre warns against the spread of measles. Photo: RNZ / Rob Dixon

People who might have been exposed on those flights should be vigilant for symptoms of the highly infectious disease, said the service's Medical Officer of Health, Maria Poynter.

The passengers were on an Air New Zealand flight NZ959 leaving Apia at 9.40pm on Friday 8 November, and the same flight at the same time on Sunday night.

Dr Poynter said it could take seven to 14 days to start experiencing symptoms and non-vaccinated people were most at risk.

Measles symptoms include a high fever, runny nose, cough and sore red eyes, followed by a rash, that typically starts on the face and neck, then spreads to the rest of the body.

"If you were on one of the flights and are unsure whether you're immune to measles, talk to your doctor or call Healthline on 0800 611 116 for advice," Dr Poynter said.

"If you do start to develop symptoms that could be measles, also contact your doctor. Be sure to call ahead to prevent potentially infecting others in the waiting room."