Auckland measles cases reach 804, as number grows at 'constant rate'

The number of measles cases in Auckland has hit 804 today as the figure continues to grow at a "constant rate".

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Dr William Rainger says there are now 804 confirmed cases. Source: 1 NEWS

Auckland’s Medical Officer of Health, Dr William Rainger, gave an update on the outbreak this afternoon where the latest figures were outlined.

"There are now 804 confirmed cases, which is an increase of 26 from Saturday and increasing at a constant rate of around 18 to 19 a day," Dr Rainger said.

He said a majority of cases are in Counties Manukau, but there have been other cases around Auckland.

Despite the figures, Dr Rainger says people should "go about their daily lives" and he will not advise shutting down public events.

"Vaccination is the answer to this," he said.

Over 300 people have been vaccinated at pop-up clinics around South Auckland.

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Public health officials are telling organisers thinking of cancelling events to check with them first. Source: 1 NEWS

Earlier today, it was announced that students attending an Auckland school ball at the weekend may have been exposed to measles after a student presented with a suspected case of the disease.

Dr Rainger said Auckland Regional Public Health Services (ARPHS) had been informed that schools have asked students attending the St Peters College ball on Saturday go into quarantine, if they are not vaccinated.

"We do not yet have a laboratory confirmation that the student has measles," he said.

However, at this point, the Medical Officer of Health is not asking that unvaccinated students stay home

If the case is confirmed, students attending the ball will not be contagious until the weekend, Dr Rainger said.

St Peter’s College Principal James Bentley says the response from ARPHS is “pretty disappointing, we’re getting mixed messages and it feels like we’re the meat in the sandwich.”

Mr Bentley said it had been difficult to get direction and clarification, and it was disappointing to be told the school had misinterpreted policy around quarantine.

“We also have responsibilities to our staff under health and safety legislation,” he said.