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Measles warning issued to passengers onboard pair of Air NZ flights between Auckland, Palmerston North

A warning has been issued to passengers from a pair of weekend flights between Auckland and Palmerston North that they may have been exposed to measles.

The Auckland Regional Public Health Service confirmed this morning a passenger boarded their flights over the weekend while infectious but before they knew they had measles.

The flights concerned are Air NZ 5119 from Auckland to Palmerston North on Sat 6 July, which departed at 7.20am and Air NZ 5114 from Palmerston North to Auckland on Sunday 7 July which departed at 2.30pm.

ARPHS director, Dr Julia Peters, says passenger on those flights along with anyone in Auckland or Palmerston North's domestic terminals around the time of the departures, should watch for signs of measles.

"People who are not immune may start experiencing symptoms over the next week," Dr Peters says.

Measles is a highly infectious airborne disease that spreads easily through the air via coughing and sneezing with symptoms including a high fever, runny nose, cough and sore red eyes. A few days later a rash starts on the face and neck, before spreading to the rest of the body.

The ARPHS is advising people who were on the flights that are unsure whether they’re immune or not to talk to their doctors or call Healthline on 0800 611 116 for advice.

Vaccination offers the best protection against measles with one dose preventing the disease in 95 per cent of people, while having two doses will protect 99 per cent of people.

A small Air New Zealand plane. Source: istock.com