Rugby fans with tickets to a Pasifika showdown at Eden Park this weekend are being told to stay home if they feel sick, as Auckland battles a measles outbreak.

Health authorities have issued the advice ahead of the Pasifika Challenge II rugby event in Auckland tomorrow.

The event is a warm-up for the Pacific rugby teams from Samoa, Tonga and Fiji ahead of the Rugby World Cup next month.

With a large percentage of confirmed measles cases being from the Pacific community, rugby fans are being told to heed the advice and stay home if they feel sick to help prevent the disease from spreading further.


Medical officer of health Dr William Rainger said: "We would ask that people stay away from this event if they are feeling unwell. With measles now circulating in Pacific communities in Auckland, the only way for people to protect themselves is to be vaccinated.''

Rainger said people with measles will not know they have it in the early days of contracting the disease.

"So others cannot avoid being infected if they are not immune.''

Get immunised! Protect you and your whaanau against measles

We're now at 475 measles cases in Counties - 700 in total for Auckland. Protect you and your whaanau and get your measles vaccine - it's FREE for people 1-50 years. Here's Middlemore Foundation ambassador Joseph Parker encouraging whaanau to get immunised! Let's stop further spread in our rohe! For more info: or check out their Facebook page for updates: Auckland Regional Public Health Service

Posted by Counties Manukau Health on Wednesday, 28 August 2019

The Auckland Regional Public Health Service said it had not been approached by rugby officials or organisers of the event specifically.

However, anyone organising an event is being told to access official advice about the measles outbreak - and how to prevent its spread - from its website.

Organisers of the Anchor AIMS Games to be held in the Bay of Plenty from September 8-13 have also urged schools to heed Ministry of Health and DHB advice.

The annual intermediate school age tournament features more than 11,500 entries from New Zealand and the Pacific.

Anchor AIMS Games Trust chairman Henk Popping said the health, safety and wellness of the athletes was of paramount importance.


"Our tournament director Vicki Semple has been monitoring developments for the best part of two months and we sent out information to all 369 participating schools in late July with advice on what to do," Popping said.

That advice, which included a letter from Toi Te Ora Public Health medical officer Dr Phil Shoemack, says that anyone with measles will be required to stay away from the Anchor AIMS Games (and other sporting events and school) for seven days from the appearance of the rash and until recovery.

Anyone who is not immunised and has contact with someone found to have measles may also be required to stay away from the tournament, the letter said, for 14 days from the last contact with the sick person.

The Auckland Regional Public Health Service confirmed today that there was a total of 759 cases through the region, an increase of 143 since the same time last week.

MEASLES UPDATE: The number of confirmed cases in Auckland is not slowing down. We are seeing an average of 30 cases a...

Posted by Auckland Regional Public Health Service on Thursday, 29 August 2019

As of 12pm yesterday, a total of 731 people had been confirmed as having measles in Auckland. That was a jump of 31 people from the day before.

The majority of cases are from the Counties Manukau District Health Board region, with 501 confirmed cases reported as of yesterday.

Several schools in the area have been heavily affected, with Manurewa High School sending home 300 students after 13 cases were confirmed there.

Up to 101 cases had been confirmed in the Auckland DHB area and 129 in the Waitematā DHB area.

Today's warning comes after prominent Samoan Kiwi boxer Joseph Parker put out a call of his own; encouraging members of the Pasifika community to make sure they were vaccinated against the disease.

Appearing in a Counties Manukau DHB campaign video, he says: "Measles is on the rise in South Auckland - affecting many families and young people, especially of the Pacific community.

"Please see your doctor today about getting your free measles vaccine. Even if you're not sure, it's safe to get it again.''

The Government this week announced it will be putting in reinforcements in the fight against the outbreak; with vaccination stations due to be set up in schools, churches and shopping malls in the coming days.