A case of the measles has today been confirmed in a resident of Milford Sound.
It is not known whether the 30 year-old woman was immunised against measles and Public Health South is working to identify all close contacts, determining their immunisation status and offering vaccination.
Measles is a viral illness spread by contact with respiratory secretions through coughing and sneezing. Unimmunised people exposed to measles first develop a respiratory-type illness with a dry cough, runny nose, temperature over 38.5C and will likely feel very unwell. A rash starts on day four or five of illness usually on the face and moving down the chest and arms.
This is the first confirmed case of measles in New Zealand since May 2018.
“Measles is highly infectious. If you think you have symptoms of measles – it is vital that you do not visit your GP office, emergency department or after hours clinic. Instead, please phone your GP practice or Healthline for advice,” says Dr Susan Jack, Southern DHB Medical Officer of Health.
“People are infectious from five days before the onset of the rash to five days after the rash starts and should stay in isolation during this time. This means staying home from school or work and having no contact with unimmunised people.
“If your vaccinations are up-to-date, you will be protected. If you are unsure, you can check your vaccination status with your family doctor or GP.”
People are considered immune if they have received two doses of MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine, have had a measles illness previously or were born before 1969. MMR is available from your family practice and is free to eligible persons, although there may be an administration fee.
More information about measles is available at: https://www.health.govt.nz/your-health/conditions-and-treatments/diseases-and-illnesses/measles
Anyone with these symptoms or who believes they may have been exposed, can contact Healthline 0800 611 116 (free and 24 hours) for additional advice.