First case of measles in Auckland area in 18 months

Photo / Thinkstock
Photo / Thinkstock

People are being urged to be on guard after the first case of measles in the Auckland region since June 2012 was confirmed.

One person was confirmed as contracting the infectious disease while in Sydney earlier this month where they were taking part in the 2013 World Supremacy Battlegrounds hip-hop competition, the Auckland Regional Public Health Service said.

The services was aware that teams from elsewhere in New Zealand, including Hamilton and Huntly, also attended the event.

The service was following up with people who had contact with the infected person, had alerted Auckland health professionals and emergency departments and updated the Ministry of Health.

Medical Officer of Health Dr Catherine Jackson warned that measles was extremely infectious and could cause serious complications.

"Auckland's last major measles outbreak in 2011 demonstrates how quickly the disease can spread: one infected child resulted in nearly 500 cases and 80 hospital admissions. If you have measles symptoms or any concerns, phone your GP or Healthline on 0800 611 116. If you need to see a doctor it is important to call first to avoid spreading measles in the waiting room,'' she said.

Measles symptoms start with a high fever, which develops about 10 days after exposure. This is followed with one or more of the following symptoms: A runny nose, cough, red eyes and small white spots inside the mouth. A red blotchy rash on the neck and face appears three or four days later before spreading to the rest of the body.

- APNZ

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