Two new measles cases have been confirmed in Hawke’s Bay today (2 October) – a Hastings male in his 30s and a toddler in Wairoa. This takes the total number of measles cases in Hawke’s Bay this year to five.
Hawke’s Bay District Health Board Medical Officer of Health, Dr Nicholas Jones, said both cases were unrelated and health officials were working swiftly with family and other known close contacts who may have been exposed.
Both cases caught measles from confirmed cases related to the Auckland outbreak.
Dr Jones is urging people to check their immunisation status and be vigilant for symptoms of measles which is an airborne disease that spreads easily through the air via coughing and sneezing.
Dr Jones said anyone not immunised, who visited the following public places in Hastings, may have been exposed. Symptoms of measles generally appear within 14 days of exposure to the virus. If people feel sick, they should isolate themselves immediately and call ahead to their doctor or phone Healthline on 0800 611 116, for advice, to avoid spreading the illness to others.
Look Sharp, 221 Russell Street Hastings, Bay Plaza
- Daily between 24 and 30 September during working hours
- Bay Plaza Pharmacy on 26 September between 5pm and 5:30pm
- K-Mart on 26 September between 5pm and 6pm
Countdown Hastings and Pak-n-Save Hastings supermarkets
- Daily between 24 and 29 September between 7pm and 9pm
Dr Jones said there was no community contact risk in Wairoa as the toddler had remained at home since returning from Auckland. Family and friends had been followed-up by public health officials, he said.
Measles symptoms include cough, runny nose, inflamed eyes, fever followed a few days later by a rash.
Unvaccinated people who have had direct contact with measles cases should get advice from Healthline on 0800 611 116.
“Immunisation is the best way to protect against getting measles. People are considered immune if they have received two doses of the MMR vaccine, have already had measles, or were born before 1969,” Dr Jones said.
The Immunisation Advisory Centre has provided up-to-date information about measles immunity and the MMR vaccine on their website: https://www.immune.org.nz/hot-topic/measles-overseas-and-new-zealand or www.ourhealthhb.nz