No further reports of measles

Dunedin Hospital.
Dunedin Hospital.
The number of confirmed cases of measles in Dunedin remained at two yesterday, but health officials remained on high alert for more people suffering from the highly contagious disease.

There had been fears an outbreak in Canterbury - where 28 people have contracted measles - might spread to Dunedin after a visitor from Christchurch was diagnosed with the disease on Wednesday.

The alarm increased on Thursday, when it emerged that person had visited Port Chalmers Kindergarten last week to pick up a child.

However, SDHB medical officer of health Marion Poore said yesterday that no further cases of measles had been diagnosed.

"Our advice remains to stay home if you are sick, and call your GP or Healthline first if you need help," Dr Poore said.

Dunedin Kindergartens manager Christine Kerr said everyone at Port Chalmers Kindergarten remained "on edge" after its brush with the disease, and all children who might not have high immunity from the disease were being asked to keep away.

All kindergartens were aware of the outbreak, but numbers attending had been lower than normal this week due to an unrelated early outbreak of seasonal influenza, Mrs Kerr said.

"There is a lot of illness in town at the moment."

The SDHB estimates 93% for children aged 4 years or over and 92% for children aged 2 to 4 have been immunised against measles.

People are not at risk if they have had two vaccinations for measles, were born before 1969, or have had measles.

The SDHB had encouraged people aged 29-50 to ensure they were fully vaccinated with two measles vaccinations, a call which had led to a rush of calls to medical centres by people seeking to update their vaccinations.

A Dunedin teenager was diagnosed with measles a fortnight ago, but it is believed none of the people she had been in contact with had contracted the disease.

Measles symptoms include a high fever, runny nose, cough and sore red eyes, followed by a rash a few days later.

It is highly contagious, and it is recommended anyone who suspects they may have come in contact with measles contact their GP by telephone.

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