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Four more measles cases confirmed in Wellington

Press Release – Regional Public Health – Wellington
Regional Public Health (RPH) Wellington has been notified of four confirmed cases of measles, one of which was from a person who had travelled on the Johnsonville train line last week.

RPH are asking people who may have been in contact with infected people to watch out for symptoms. The infected people visited several public places before they were diagnosed. At these times the people did not know they had measles.

Medical Officer of Health Dr Annette Nesdale is asking members of the public who visited the following locations at the relevant times, and who are unsure if they are immunised against measles, to call their doctor’s practice and check.

Tuesday, June 18:

Train at 7:59am from Johnsonville to Wellington or the 17:17 train from Wellington to Johnsonville
Midnight Expresso café Wellington between 16:30 to 18:00
Daiso shop in Manners Street Wellington between 18:00 to 18:10
McDonalds restaurant (Manners/Victoria St.) Wellington between 18:10 to 18:20
Thursday 20 Friday 21, June.
James Cook Hotel foyer or walkway between The Terrace and Lambton Quay
Monday, June 24
Countdown Pharmacy, High Street Lower Hutt 13:15 to 13:30

Measles is most infectious in the days before the classical measles rash develops. It can take seven to 14 days for someone who has caught measles to start showing any symptoms. Measles symptoms include; a high fever, cough, runny nose, red eyes and a rash that starts on the face and neck before spreading elsewhere.

Dr Nesdale says, “Measles is highly contagious and the virus is spread easily from person to person through the air via sneezing or coughing”.

“We will be trying to contact people who we are aware have been in contact with an unwell person, however, because measles is an airborne disease anyone who was at the above listed locations at the times specified, should remain vigilant until 14 days after visiting these locations.”

Measles is a serious illness which can be prevented by being immunised, Dr Nesdale says.

“The MMR (Measles, Mumps and Rubella) vaccine is a free vaccine and offers the best protection against measles. Two doses are required to give maximum protection. These are usually given at around 15 months and four years, however you can receive the vaccine at any age after 12 months.

“The only way to avoid catching measles is to have had two measles vaccines after your first birthday or if you have previously had measles. Please check with your doctor to see if you and your family are protected. By getting immunised, you will not only be protecting yourself or your child, you’ll also be stopping the disease from spreading in our communities,” Dr Nesdale says.

Anyone who was at the above locations at the specified times, who feels unwell, should phone their doctor or call Healthline on 0800 611 116 for advice. It is vitally important to call first before seeing a doctor because measles is highly infectious, and people with measles can infect others in the waiting room.

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