Measles warning for plane's passengers

Passengers on an Air New Zealand flight from Brisbane to Auckland on February 23 may have been exposed to measles, the Auckland Regional Public Health Service says.

The health service said there were two infected passengers on flight NZ136 which left Brisbane at 11.15am on February 23.

'Passengers who sat nearest the two cases have the highest risk and are our first priority," said Medical Officer of Health Richard Hoskins.

They would be contacted by their local public health service.

"However because measles is an infectious, airborne disease, we want all passengers to be vigilant."

Measles symptoms include a high fever, cough, runny nose, red eyes and a rash that starts on the face and neck and spreads.

Any passengers from the flight who felt unwell should phone their GP or call Healthline on 0800 611 116 for advice.

There have been 57 measles cases in Auckland so far this year. Nine of these caught measles overseas and brought it home with them.

The health service said it was working hard to avoid another situation like that in 2011/12 when nearly 500 people caught measles and 82 required hospitalisation.

Measles was a serious illness and there was no treatment, Dr Hoskins said.

"The only way to avoid catching measles is to have had two measles vaccines after your first birthday. Please check with your GP to see if you and your family are protected."


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