Measles case confirmed in Queenstown
The Southern District Health Board has issued the following warning.
Southern DHB/Public Health South is alerting Queenstown residents that they may have been exposed to measles.
The Queenstown resident was infectious with measles while at the following locations:
- Remarkables Ski Field, in particular Kea Club Lessons, 14 - 16th August
- Frankton McDonalds, Lunchtime, Friday 16th August
- Mitre 10 Frankton, 4 - 4.15pm, Sunday 18th August
- Pak n Sav, 4.15 - 5pm, Sunday 18th August
- Macpac Frankton, 5 - 5.30pm, Sunday 18th August
Southern DHB Locum Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Greg Simmons, urges anyone who is not sure if they are immune to measles, and may have been in contact with the case, to check their immunity to measles. The best way to do this is to look at the immunisation page in your Well Child book (you may have to ask your parents to do this for you). If this is lost, try checking with the Practice Nurse at your regular General Practice, who often keep records of immunisations – even those done at previous practices.
“It usually takes 10 - 14 days for someone who has caught measles to develop symptoms. If anyone has been infected at the locations listed, they could start to develop symptoms from as soon as the today.Symptoms include a high fever, runny nose, cough and sore red eyes. A few days later a rash starts on the face and neck, before spreading to the rest of the body.” Pregnant women, immunocompromised people, and people who have not had two MMRs should be especially vigilant.
"We're asking people who were in these locations to keep a close eye out for these symptoms. If you develop symptoms, stay home, and phone Healthline (0800 611 116) or your general practice, and let them know that you may have been in contact with a confirmed measles case," says Dr Simmons.
The measles virus spreads easily via infectious droplets from person to person through the air, via breathing, coughing and sneezing.
Those born before the 1st January 1969 are considered to be immune, as the virus circulated widely when they were children.
Vaccination with the Measles, Mumps, Rubella vaccine (MMR) offers the best protection against measles. Two doses will protect 99 per cent of people who have the vaccine. Children are routinely vaccinated against measles at 15 months and four years.
Currently MMR vaccination is free for anyone born after the 1st January 1969, over 4 years of age, who hasn’t had two doses. If you haven’t had two doses of MMR and were born after the 1st January 1969, now is the time to get immunized. If you are not sure, get immunised, as there is no harmful effect from having more than two MMRs.
Anyone with measles needs to be isolated from the time they become ill until 5 days after the rash has appeared. Isolation means staying at home and missing out on things like school, work, sporting competitions and social events.
Dr Simmons continues: “Although it’s important to get vaccines on time, every time, it's never too late. If you need more information on immunisation contact your family doctor.”
For more information on measles please visit the Ministry of Health website.