Measles alert at Auckland women's prison sees inmates isolated, mothers and babies quarantined

Three prisoners have been isolated and mothers and babies quarantined in a measles alert at Auckland Region Women’s Corrections Facility.

A baby and mother at Auckland's women's prison. (File image) Source: 1 NEWS

The Department of Corrections says one of the three women isolated is symptomatic of measles and it's awaiting serology test results for the three who will remain isolated until their immunity status can be confirmed. 

Two other women were previously isolated, but have since been confirmed as immune, Deputy National Commissioner Andy Milne said tonight.

"While no cases have been confirmed, we have taken immediate steps, guided by the advice of Auckland Regional Public Health Service to reduce the risk of any infection spreading and ensure the health and safety of our staff, prisoners and visitors," Mr Milne said.

This includes placing the Mother with Babies Unit at the site under quarantine as precaution to ensure the health and wellbeing of all mothers and babies at the site, he said. 

It also includes restricting prisoner movements in and out of the unit where the prisoners were accommodated. 

Corrections is also ensuring only staff with confirmed immunity are working with the isolated prisoners, and in the unit where they were accommodated.

The department is ensuring staff are continuing to proactively monitor all prisoners on site for any symptoms of infection and is taking advice from Auckland Regional Public Health about vaccinations for staff and prisoners, Mr Milne said. 

"As you are aware, there have been a significant number of confirmed cases of measles in the Auckland community in recent weeks," he said. 

"Because of this, we have been vigilant in ensuring that prisoners and staff are well informed about the symptoms of measles and how to prevent infection from spreading by supplying them with information from Health agencies, and will continue to reiterate the importance of this."

Auckland Region Women’s Corrections Facility is currently managing 436 prisoners.

As at 2pm today there have been 1149 confirmed cases of measles nationally this year, including 959 in Auckland.