Shoppers in a Hawke's Bay supermarket and hospital waiting room visitors are being urged get checked for measles as part of the precautions after the diagnosis of an infant with the disease.

In a statement late today Hawke's Bay DHB medical officer of health Dr Nicholas Jones said anyone who had been at the Flaxmere New World between 5pm and 5.30pm on the Wednesday of July 10 should check their immunisation status and contact a doctor immediately if they started experiencing any of the measles symptoms.

Public health officials were also directly contacting people who presented to Hawke's Bay Hospital's Emergency Department and were in the waiting room between 8pm on July 12 and 2.30am the next morning, and again between 4.30pm and 6.40pm last Tuesday (July 16).

Anyone concerned, who had not yet spoken to a health official, could contact their family doctor or Healthline 24/7 on 0800 611 116.


Early signs include fever, runny nose, sore red eyes and coughing, but after three to five days could be established by the of a red and blotchy rash on the face sand head spreading down the body.

Jones said the infant had contracted the highly contagious airborne disease while visiting Auckland.

Public health officials were working swiftly with family and other known close contacts to ensure those who weren't immunised against measles stayed in isolation to avoid further spread of the disease.

The infant had not reached the stage for immunisation, measles, mumps and rubella vaccine being routinely given at 15 months and 4 years of age.

"Measles spreads easily from person to person through the air by breathing, sneezing or coughing, but it is preventable if people are immunised against it," Jones said.

While health teams were contacting people known to have come into contact with the case they also wanted to alert the public about possible contacts in the community.

He said that prior to the family realising the nature of the illness, the infant accompanied a member of the family to New World in Flaxmere on in the early evening of July 10.

"Whilst we believe the risk would be relatively low, we urge anyone who was shopping at the supermarket on that day within those timeframes to check their immunisation status and contact their doctor should they start experiencing any onset of measles symptoms," he said.


"The most important message is, if you believe you or a family member may have measles, please stay at home and phone your doctor to alert them of your symptoms and allow them to make arrangements to assess you safely and without infecting other people, or call Healthline for advice," he said.

"I would also urge anyone born after 1969 who is not fully immunised against measles to contact their doctor about having the free vaccine because it offers the best protection," he said.

Primary health care providers (family doctors and urgent care providers) have been advised to be alert to patients presenting or phoning in with symptoms.