Published On: Thu, Mar 6th, 2014

New Zealand: Auckland measles outbreak at 58


Two passengers onboard an Air New Zealand flight from Brisbane to Auckland are the latest confirmed measles cases in the current outbreak, according to the Auckland Regional Public Health Service (ARPHS) today.




Health authorities say the two infected people were on Flight NZ136 that left Brisbane at 11:15am on Sunday February 23.


“We can confirm there were two measles cases who were passengers on Flight NZ136 leaving Brisbane at 11:15am on Sunday 23 February,” says Medical Officer of Health Dr Richard Hoskins. “These passengers would have been infectious at the time of their travel on this flight.”


“Passengers who sat nearest the two cases have the highest risk and are our first priority,” says Dr Hoskins, “and will be contacted by their local public health service. However because measles is an infectious, airborne disease, we want all passengers to be vigilant.”


The ARPHS says there have been 58 confirmed cases in Auckland so far this year. Nine of these cases acquired measles while travelling overseas, the rest are mostly contacts of these though in 1 case we have yet to find any link. Over half of the cases so far are linked to Westlake Boys High School (36).


Health officials advise travelers to ensure their routine vaccinations are up to date before traveling, so they don’t bring measles back to New Zealand.


They note that there are measles outbreak in the Philippines and other destinations.


Measles (rubeola) is classified as a member of the genus Morbillivirus in the family Paramyxoviridae. Measles is a highly contagious rash illness that is transmitted from person to person by direct contact with respiratory droplets or airborne spread. After exposure, up to 90% of susceptible persons develop measles. The average incubation period for measles is 10 to 12 days from exposure to prodrome and 14 days from exposure to rash (range: 7–21 days).


Persons with measles are infectious 4 days before through 4 days after rash onset. The most commonly reported complications associated with measles infection were pneumonia, otitis media, and diarrhea. For every 1,000 reported measles cases, approximately one case of encephalitis and two to three deaths occur.


The last time Auckland had a measles outbreak, in 2011-12, there were 500 cases with 82 requiring hospitalization.


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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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