Nelson Marlborough Health News and Notices

New measles case confirmed in South Island


Nelson Marlborough Health, Canterbury and Southern DHB are alerting the general public that they may have been exposed to measles.

A person has been confirmed as having measles and was infectious while travelling across multiple locations in the South and North Islands, including Picton, between Saturday 28 December 2019 and Monday 6 January 2020.

The person was diagnosed in Christchurch and Canterbury DHB’s Community and Public Health team has been working to identify all close contacts of this person, determining their immunisation status and offering advice regarding what further action they should take.

Anyone who was in the following locations at the times listed should be aware that they may have been exposed and at risk of developing measles, unless they are sure they’ve had two MMR vaccinations or are over 50 years of age. If they are not in either of those two groups, they should isolate themselves at home until the dates listed (inclusive):

28 December 2019
Interislander Ferry Wellington to Picton, 8.45am - 12.00pm
Remain isolated until 11 January

30 December 2019
Emergency Department at Dunedin Hospital between 8.30pm - 1.00am
Remain isolated until 13 January

30 December 2019 to 3 January 2020
Whare Flat Folk Music Festival
Remain isolated until 17 January

6 January 2020
Interislander Ferry Picton to Wellington, 2.30pm - 5.45pm
Remain isolated until 20 January

More information about the current measles outbreak is available at https://www.health.govt.nz/your-health/conditions-and-treatments/diseases-and-illnesses/measles/2019-measles-outbreak-information

Measles Fact Sheet

  • Measles is a highly infectious viral illness spread by contact with respiratory secretions through coughing and sneezing. 
  • Symptoms of measles include: 
    • A respiratory type of illness with dry cough, runny nose, headache.
    • Temperature over 38.5 C and feeling very unwell.
    • A red blotchy rash starts on day 4-5 of the illness usually on the face and moves to the chest and arms.
  • People are infectious from five days before the onset of the rash to four days after the rash starts.
  • Infected people 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 general practice team and is free for eligible people.
  • Children and people who have never been immunised are the priorities for the vaccine.
  • People are considered immune if they have received two doses of MMR vaccine, have already the measles or were born before 1969.
  • Anyone believing they have been exposed to measles or has symptoms, should not go to the ED or after-hours clinic or general practitioner. Instead call your GP any time, 24/7 for free health advice.
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