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Person with confirmed measles case at Secondary Schools National Championship Basketball Tournament

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MidCentral DHB’s Public Health Service has been informed of a laboratory confirmed case of measles in a person who attended the Secondary Schools National Championship Basketball Tournament in Palmerston North between 30 September and 2 October.

The person with the confirmed case was infectious during this entire period but did not know they had measles. The person is currently in isolation.
MidCentral DHB Medical Officer of Health Dr Rob Weir said anyone not immune to measles, and who had been at the tournament at any time from 30 September up to and including 2 October, should stay in isolation to prevent the further spread of measles.
The self-isolation period should take place between Monday, 7 October up to and including Wednesday, 16 October 2019.
“Isolation means staying at home, avoiding gatherings and staying away from public places, such as school, work, childcare, shopping centres, church, sports events or public transport,” Dr Weir said.
People are considered to be immune if they:
· were born before 1 January 1969
· have documentation of receiving two doses of a measles vaccine (MMR)
· have been diagnosed as having measles in the past by a doctor.
Dr Weir reminded the public that measles is a very infectious disease and anyone not immune is at risk if they come into contact with it.
“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.”
Dr Weir said anyone who attended the tournament should look out for symptoms of measles between the 7 October and 16 October and should be in isolation if they think they may have the disease.
“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,” Dr Weir said.
“If you think you might have measles I recommend you contact your General Practice Team (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 practice.”

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