Measles cases increasing

Increasing cases of measles, particularly in Auckland, have health officials worried.

The discovery of two measles infected passengers on a recent flight from Brisbane to Auckland has added to health authorities concern over the growing number of cases.

The Auckland Regional Public Health Service confirmed the cases yesterday, with that the total number of measles cases reaching 58, over half of them (36) due to an outbreak at Westlake Boys’ High School.

Authorities are keeping a close eye on cases and urging members of the public to check that they are immunised against the disease.

Measles is a serious illness, said Medical Officer of Health Dr Richard Hoskins, and there is no treatment. “The only way to avoid catching measles is to have had two measles vaccines after your first birthday. Please check with your GP to see if you and your family are protected.”

Symptom of measles include fever, cough, runny nose and conjunctivitis lasting for 2-4 days, followed by a rash, beginning at the hairline and gradually spreading down the body to the arms and legs. The rash lasts for up to one week. It usually takes 10-12 days from exposure to the first symptom.

For more information on measles symptoms and prevention visit the measles page at the Immunisation Advisory Centre.

Coverage of recent cases includes:

Radio New Zealand: Measles risk for passengers
TVNZ: Measles alert over Air NZ flight
NewstalkZB: Another measles scare on Brisbane flight
3 News: New measles cases on Air NZ flight
NZ Herald: More measles cases confirmed in Auckland
3 News: Auckland measles cases continue to rise
Yahoo NZ News: Weekend brings three more measles cases
MSN NZ News: New measles alert in Auckland
Otago Daily Times: Warning over measles outbreak