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Regional Public Health contact tracing underway after 4th Wellington measles case

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Regional Public Health (RPH) nurses are contacting people who attended a Lower Hutt party on Saturday, 18 May after a guest was subsequently confirmed as having measles.

Medical Officer of Health Annette Nesdale says the person did not know he had measles at the time of the party, and most likely acquired the infection while in Australia. He was admitted to Hutt Hospital on 21 May, and has since been discharged.

"Around ~ 80 people were at the party, potentially exposing those not vaccinated against measles to infection," Dr Nesdale said.

RPH Public Health nurses began contacting party attendees on 21 May using a variety of methods including phoning, texting, and messaging through a closed facebook page set up for guests prior to the party.

RPH held a clinic on 22nd May at its offices for party guests wanting to be immunised.

Dr Nesdale said RPH were also aware that the person, unaware he was infectious, visited the following Lower Hutt businesses on Friday 17 May between 2 - 4pm:

Pete’s Emporium Lower Hutt

Pak n’ Save Lower Hutt - also on 15 May at around 7pm, and 19 May at around 8pm

Animates Lower Hutt

BP petrol station at Melling.

These businesses have also been contacted by RPH, Dr Nesdale said.

"If you were at these locations during these times, are younger than 50 years old and unvaccinated, you are at risk of developing measles.

"Contact RPH on 04 570 9002 for health advice if you start to develop the early signs of measles, such as fever and runny nose," she said.

NOTE: FAQs: Wellington’s 4th measles case, below and available on www.rph.org.nz

For more information see:

www.rph.org.nz/public-health-topics/illness-and-disease/measles/

www.health.govt.nz/your-health/conditions-and-treatments/diseases-and-illnesses/measles

www.healthnavigator.org.nz/health-a-z/m/measles/

www.immune.org.nz/Immunisation Advisory Centre 0800 IMMUNE

FAQs: 4th measles case in the Wellington area.

What is the background to the case?

A 22 year old New Zealand male has been discharged from Hutt Hospital after being confirmed as having measles.

The man is most likely to have been exposed to measles when he was in Melbourne, Australia.

He arrived in New Zealand on 8th May.

He would not have been infectious during the flight to New Zealand.

He would have been infectious when he attended a party in Lower Hutt on 18 May. However, at the time of the party he did not know he had measles.

Around 80 people attended the party, potentially exposing unvaccinated guests to measles infection.

On Tuesday 21 May RPH commenced contact tracing of those who attended the party.

Lower Hutt businesses the person visited between 15-19TH May while unaware he was infectious have also been contacted by RPH.

RPH held a clinic on 22nd May at its offices for guests at the party who wanted to be immunised.

What is involved in contact tracing?

Contact tracing is identifying all the people a person has had contact with and public places they have visited when they were infectious. Each person or business identified is then contacted, usually by telephone, and advised. If they are at risk of developing the disease they are advised what they need to do to stop the disease spreading further.

How many RPH Public Health nurses and medical staff are involved in tracing potential cases?

12 to 15 staff.

What is RPH doing to contact guests who may not have been in the party’s Facebook group?

RPH is using a variety of ways to contact people at the party, including telephoning or texting them directly.

Has RPH offered immunisation to party attendees who wanted protection against measles?

Yes. RPH held a clinic on 22nd May at its offices for party guests who wanted to be immunised.

Did the person visit other public places while he was infectious? If so where and when?

Yes. The person, unaware he was infectious, visited the following Lower Hutt businesses on Friday 17 May between 2 - 4pm:

Pete’s Emporium Lower Hutt

Pak n’ Save Lower Hutt - also on 15 May around 7pm, and 19 May around 8pm

Animates Lower Hutt

BP petrol station at Melling.

Has RPH contacted these businesses?

Yes.

Could people he came in contact with in these places also have been exposed to measles?

Yes, measles is very infectious and there is a risk of measles being transmitted even with brief contact.

How can I check if I have been exposed?

If you have been in one of the locations listed above are younger than 50 years old and unvaccinated please phone RPH on 04 570 9002 for health advice.

Could I have infected my children, family, friends, and workmates?

Measles usually starts 10-14 days after you have been exposed. If you have measles you'll get the following symptoms:

a fever, a cough, a runny nose

sore, watery pink eyes

a skin rash will appear three to five days later.

NOTE: People with measles are infectious five days before and until five days after the rash appears.

Should I go to the Doctor?

If you think you or someone in your family has measles, phone your family doctor or call Healthline on 0800 611 116 as soon as possible.

Should I get vaccinated?

Yes. The best prevention against measles is the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine. Vaccines are free for children and adults who have not previously received two doses of the vaccine. Vaccination is also important if you are planning to travel anywhere overseas.

Where can get vaccinated?

Phone your local medical centre to make an appointment to be immunised against measles.

Is vaccination free?

Yes.

Are fellow passengers on the plane he flew from Australia on 8 May at risk of measles?

No, he was not infectious when he flew to New Zealand.

What's being done to stop this happening again?

Measles immunisation, on time at 15 months and four years is the best protection against measles and to stop it spreading in our communities.

Where do I find more information?

www.health.govt.nz/your-health/conditions-and-treatments/diseases-and-illnesses/measles

www.rph.org.nz/public-health-topics/illness-and-disease/measles/

www.health.govt.nz/your-health/conditions-and-treatments/diseases-and-illnesses/measles

www.healthnavigator.org.nz/health-a-z/m/measles/

/www.immune.org.nz/ Immunisation Advisory Centre 0800 IMMUNE

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