Auckland student with measles likely second case from Singapore Airlines flight

A second case of measles has been confirmed in Auckland and health authorities say the person, an AUT student, is likely to have caught the disease on a Singapore Airlines flight to Auckland more than two weeks ago.

One person who was on board flight SQ285 which landed in Auckland on Thursday February 22 was found to have measles.

The second case is an AUT student, and the Auckland Regional Public Health Service says it's working closely with AUT to determine the immunity of people who have been in classes with the individual while infectious. 

Anyone who has been in contact with the student and is not immune is being required to stay at home in quarantine to prevent the disease spreading.

The public health service says it's likely other people around Auckland's central business district from March 1 to 6 and the Albany Westfield shopping centre from March 6 between 12pm and 4pm may have been exposed to the disease when the student was walking around.

Medical Officer of Health Dr Josephine Herman is urging Aucklanders to protect themselves against measles by getting vaccinated with two doses of the MMR vaccine. 

The vaccine is free from your GP and people should phone their general practice to discuss whether their vaccinations are up to date, she said.

"Measles is very easily transmitted through coughing, sneezing or simply walking past someone who is infected and breathing their contaminated air," Dr Herman said.

If one person has measles, 90 per cent of the people close to that person who are not immune will also become infected, she said.

Measles is a highly infectious disease which can have serious complications but anyone born before 1969 is likely to be immune to the disease without having had the vaccine.

Symptoms of measles include a runny nose, cough, sore eyes, fever, a raised red rash that starts on the face and spreads to the body. 

Doctor with stethoscope
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