Thousands exposed to measles

By Sharon Lundy

A Wellington man who worked at a coffee and ice cream shop during one of the city's busiest weekends this year did not know he was infected with measles. File photo / Thinkstock
A Wellington man who worked at a coffee and ice cream shop during one of the city's busiest weekends this year did not know he was infected with measles. File photo / Thinkstock

Rugby World Cup tourists are among the thousands of people exposed to measles by a Wellington man who worked at a coffee and ice cream shop during one of the city's busiest weekends this year.

Regional Public Health Medical Officer of Health Dr Annette Nesdale said the man did not know he was infectious while working at three branches of Kaffee Eis, which specialises in gourmet gelato and coffee, from Wednesday until Sunday last week.

That weekend, October 8 and 9, was one of the busiest this year for the capital as thousands of international and domestic tourists flooded the city for two Rugby World Cup quarter-final games.

The man was working at Kaffee Eis in Frank Kitts - on the waterfront - both days of that weekend, from 9am-6pm on the Saturday and 9am-7pm on the Sunday.

Stunning weather on the Sunday brought locals and tourists out in their thousands.

The man also worked at that Kaffee Eis on Wednesday, October 5, the Kaffee Eis in Courtenay Place on Thursday, October 6 and Kaffee Eis in Cable Car Lane - a tourist attraction - on Friday, October 7.

"These locations are very popular and there is the potential that large numbers of people have been exposed to the infection," Dr Nesdale said.

"... over these days, Kaffee Eis was very busy."

The man also went to Les Mills Gym in Taranaki Street between six and 7.30pm on the Wednesday and from 4-6pm on the Thursday.

"We have been informed that approximately 2000 people attend the Les Mills Extreme Gym each day," Dr Nesdale said.

"We are working closely with the Les Mills Extreme Gym and Kaffee Eis to trace staff. However, ... tracing of customers and gym members is not possible.

"Anyone who was at these venues should check their immune status and if in doubt contact their doctor."

The man is the second Wellingtonian confirmed to have measles. Auckland is experiencing an epidemic.

- APNZ

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