Five pregnant women are among Mt Eden prison staff who have been sent home after an inmate was found to have contracted measles.

Various actions have been carried out at the Mt Eden Corrections Facility since the prisoner was identified with symptoms last Friday.

It became a confirmed case of measles the next day.

From Monday, vaccinations against the highly contagious disease will be made available to all staff at the Mt Eden facility, based on advice from the Auckland Regional Public Health Service.


Deputy national commissioner of the Department of Corrections, Andy Milne, told the Herald 41 of its staff had been identified as having had potential direct contact with the prisoner involved while he was said to be infectious.

"Of these, 32 staff have either self-reported immunity to measles or the result of serology testing (to determine immunity to measles) has confirmed this.''

Milne said four staff members had tested to be non-immune to the disease and had since been sent home as a precaution - as had five female staff who are pregnant.

"One staff member reported symptoms consistent with measles and is at home waiting on the results of a test for measles," he said.

"We are waiting on serology results for five further staff who remain at work."

Precautionary measures have also been carried out among prisoners; particularly the 36 inmates who potentially had direct contact with the unwell prisoner before measles was diagnosed.

The large group was split up and transferred to Auckland South Corrections Facility, Auckland Prison, Northland Region Corrections Facility, Rimutaka Prison and Spring Hill Corrections Facility.

"In order to mitigate any potential risk of infection spreading, all of these prisoners were quarantined, with their wellbeing closely monitored,'' Milne said.


None have shown any symptoms of measles since and serology testing has been carried out on everyone in that group. Seven prisoners returned non-immune results.

"These seven prisoners remain subject to quarantine until the period of potential infection has passed and they will be offered vaccination.''