Supermarket shoppers, ED patients in Hawke's Bay warned after baby contracts measles

An infant too young to be immunised has been hospitalised with measles in Hawke's Bay, prompting health officials to put out an alert to people who visited a Hawke's Bay supermarket and emergency department at times the child was there.

Hawke’s Bay District Health Board says the infant contracted the highly contagious airborne disease while visiting Auckland.

The child has been confirmed with measles and is in Hawke’s Bay Hospital. 

Medical officer of health Dr Nicholas Jones says public health officials are working swiftly with family and other known close contacts to ensure those who aren't immunised against measles stay in isolation to avoid further spread of the disease. 

Prior to the family realising the nature of the illness, the infant accompanied a member of the family to New World in the Hastings suburb of Flaxmere on Wednesday, July 10 between 5pm and 5.30pm, Dr Jones said.  

"Whilst we believe the risk would be relatively low, we urge anyone who was shopping at the supermarket on that day within those timeframes to check their immunisation status and contact their doctor should they start experiencing any onset of measles symptoms," he said.

“I would like to stress that there is no exposure risk to people who visited outside of that date or time period.” 

Public health officials are also directly contacting people who presented to Hawke’s Bay Hospital’s Emergency Department and were in the waiting room on Friday, July 12 between 8pm and 2.30am on Saturday, July 13 and again on Tuesday, July 16 between 4.30pm and 6.40pm.

Anyone concerned who has not yet spoken to a health official can contact their family doctor or Healthline 24/7 on 0800 611 116, Dr Jones said.

Anyone who believes they or a family member may have measles should stay at home and phone their doctor to alert them of the symptoms and allow them to make arrangements for assessment, or call Healthline for advice, he said.

The measles, mumps and rubella vaccine is routinely given at 15 months and four years of age. 

Seven people have caught measles in Canterbury.
Source: 1 NEWS