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Measles alert follows Basketball New Zealand Under 15 Nationals

A measles alert has been issued for people who attended last week's Basketball New Zealand Under 15 Nationals tournament in Mount Maunganui after a participant took part while unknowingly infectious with the disease.

Team members, family, staff and other spectators who attended the tournament at Trustpower Arena between July 17 and 20 may have been exposed to measles, Toi Te Ora Public Health said today.  

"Measles is highly infectious and spreads easily from person to person.  Anyone who attended the tournament and is not immune to measles may be at risk of infection," said Bay of Plenty and Lakes Medical Officer of Health, Dr Neil de Wet.

It can take from seven to 14 days after exposure to start developing symptoms, so anyone who is not immune and attended the tournament should be on the lookout for the symptoms of measles from today, July 24, until August 3, the public health authority said.  

Early symptoms of measles include fever, cough, runny nose and sore red eyes, and this is followed a few days later by a red, blotchy rash usually starting on the face before moving down the body.

Measles is infectious to others from when the early symptoms start even before the rash appears.  

Anyone who thinks they or someone in their family may have measles should stay at home and phone their doctor to make arrangements to be assessed without infecting other people. 

The measles, mumps and rubella vaccine is given as part of routine childhood immunisations, and people born before 1969 are considered to be immune to measles.

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