TODAY |

Warnings for Disneyland after visit from NZ teen with measles

A New Zealand teenager infected with measles who visited Disneyland in Los Angeles has prompted warnings from a US health service.

The Orange County Health Care Agency warned anyone who had been at Desert Palms Hotel between 11 and 15 August, or at Disneyland California on 12 August, to check if they were vaccinated, watch for symptoms, and stay at home should symptoms appear.

It said the infected person, a teenage girl, had visited other places throughout Los Angeles County while infectious.

Auckland Regional Public Health Service warned passengers yesterday about an infected person on a Los Angeles-to-Auckland flight last Saturday.

They said the infected person was an Auckland resident who was on flight NZ001 which arrived at 5.30am on 17 August.

It comes after a spike of 100 new cases in Auckland within a week, with confirmed cases in the city now nudging 600 for the year making it the worst outbreak in two decades.

The Health Ministry has been seeking urgent advice on how to tackle the extremely infectious and potentially deadly virus.

Measles facts:

Measles is a highly-infectious viral illness spread by contact with respiratory secretions through coughing and sneezing.

People are infectious from five days before the onset of the rash to five days after the rash starts.

Infected persons should stay in isolation - staying home from school or work - during this time.

The best protection from measles is to have two MMR vaccinations. MMR is available from your family practice and is free to eligible persons.

People are considered immune if they have received two doses of MMR vaccine, have had a measles illness previously, or were born before 1969.

Anyone believing they have been exposed to measles or exhibiting symptoms, should not go to the ED or after hours' clinic or general practitioner. Instead, call the GP first.

For more details, read this explainer we published in March.

ARPHS Public Health Medicine Specialist Dr Maria Poynter said any passengers on the flight who started to feel unwell should stay at home, phone their doctor and avoid going out to seek medical help.

"If you feel unwell, please don't just turn up. It is important to call first, because measles is highly infectious and you could infect others in the waiting room," Dr Poynter said.

rnz.co.nz

Visitors walk toward Sleeping Beauty's Castle in the background at Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California. Source: Associated Press