A measles case from the current Waikato outbreak recently visited the Manawatu area while infectious. The last date any further cases could occur from this visit is 15 May.
Medical Officer of Health, Dr Rob Weir said “The MidCentral Public Health Service is following up the close contacts of the case.”
Dr Weir said: “Measles is a very infectious disease so anyone who is not immune to measles is at risk if they come in to contact with the disease. It spreads from person to person through the air from breathing, coughing and sneezing, and contact with those secretions. The disease is contagious from just before symptoms begin until about five days after onset of the rash. The illness usually starts between 10 and 14 days after contact with the measles virus.”
Measles symptoms include: fever, runny nose, cough, and sore red eyes. After 3-5 days a rash appears on the head and spreads down the body.
“This case is a reminder that measles can occur at any time. Vaccination is the best way for people to protect themselves against measles and is free to those who need it. You can protect both yourself and the community by getting vaccinated.”
Dr Weir said: “Anyone who thinks they may have measles should stay away from work, school or public places. If you think you might have measles I recommend you contact your GP (by phone first) or Healthline on 0800 611 116 for more advice. It is very important you tell your GP that you think you might have measles before going in to the surgery."
Contact: Communications Unit (06) 350-8945