Measles travel warning stands

by Paul Campbell

Travel advisories are still in force for people heading to Auckland and the centre of the continuing measles outbreak with the latest figures this week showing 1,660 confirmed cases there, of a country-wide total of 2,060.

Northland has 91 cases with Kaipara’s latest figure at 12. Last week two suspected measles cases from the north caused an alert at an Auckland public event, and the Ministry of Health has issued guidelines accordingly.

In regard to mass gatherings, concerts and sporting events it says although the ministry hasn’t recommended organisers cancel events, it suggests organisers work closely with their local health boards.

“Travelling to a place with a serious measles outbreak means people who aren’t immune and have early symptoms of measles such as fever, cough, runny nose, sore eyes and a rash should not travel.” It adds people should heed ministry advice about taking children and babies to Auckland.

It also advises that visitors travelling to New Zealand should be fully immunised for measles.

“If you need additional vaccination, it should be administered at least two weeks before arriving in New Zealand. Remember, people who aren’t immune and have early symptoms shouldn’t travel.

“The ministry is regularly reviewing this advice and expects it will remain in place as long as there are serious outbreaks occurring.”