A case of measles has been confirmed in teh Kaeo area in Northland, authorities have confirmed.
According to a press release by the Northland DHB, the person who has been infected had participated in the national Kapa Haka event at Claudelands Events Centre in Waikato on April 16, 2016.
After the event and prior to this announcement, there have been a total of eleven confirmed cases in Waikato (13 cases are currently under investigation). According to Medical Office of Health Richard Wall, five of these cases are people who were at the haka festival.
These reports show that measles can be extremely infectious.
“Measles is highly-infectious and if children are not immunised there is a very high chance they will get sick if exposed to someone with measles,:” said Northland DHB medical officer of health Dr Virginia McLaughlin. “People who are regarded as not immune to measles are those born after 01 January 1969 who have not had two doses of the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine or have not had a laboratory result showing immunity.
McLaughlin reminded Northlanders to make sure that the whole family is protected from measles, highligting that immunisation is the best protection out there. She also advised parents to make sure that their children do not miss vaccinations.
“This is an avoidable disease where there is an effective vaccine. Immunisation protects, not only the individual, but also stops the spread of this disease within our communities,” she added.
Dr Wall explained that the incubation period for measles is about two weeks, so if anyone was infected during the haka festival should have experienced symptoms and become unwell by now.
Anyone who is showing symptoms of the disease is encourages to contact their doctor immediately, or call Healthline on 0800 611 116 for advice.
Find out more about measles symptoms, complications, and prevention on the Ministry of Health .