Measles alert after person flies between Auckland and Sydney with disease

Auckland health authorities have issued a new measles alert after being notified of a case of a New Zealander who flew between Auckland and Sydney late last month, not knowing they had the highly infectious disease at the time.

Source: 1 NEWS

People who may have been in contact with that person are being advised to be vigilant for measles symptoms.

The person departed Auckland for Sydney on Air New Zealand Flight NZ711 just before 8pm on Friday, August 23.

The person returned to Auckland from Australia on Flight NZ108, which departed Sydney at around 7.50pm on Sunday, August 25 and landed in New Zealand at 12.15am on Monday the 26th.

Auckland Regional Public Health Service says anyone who was on the same flights, or in the airport departure or arrival areas around the same time as the case, should watch out for signs of measles.

These include a high fever, runny nose, cough and sore red eyes.

A few days later a rash starts on the face and neck, then spreads to the rest of the body. 

Medical Officer of Health Dr William Rainger says it can take seven to 14 days to start experiencing symptoms and people are most at risk if they're not immune to measles, either because they haven’t been vaccinated or haven’t had the disease previously.

Measles is an airborne disease that spreads easily through the air via coughing and sneezing.

As of 2pm today, there have been 812 confirmed cases of measles in Auckland this year. The number is up eight since yesterday.