NewsHealth & Safety

High school on measles alert in West Auckland

The Auckland Regional Public Health Service (APRHS) has been notified of a possible case of measles at Kelston Boys’ High School, and is advising anyone who has visited the school between 20th – 25th September to be aware and watch for symptoms.

Measles usually begins with a high fever, runny nose, cough and sore red eyes, followed by a rash starting behind the ears and spreading to the body a few days later.

One in three people with measles will develop complications, such as ear infections, pneumonia, diarrhoea or rarely inflammation of the brain.

If people are infected they could begin experiencing symptoms from 7 -18 days after exposure.

Medical Officer of Health Dr Rob Parker says: “People who are feeling unwell and have visited the school during this time are asked to immediately telephone their doctor or Healthline on 0800-611-116 for advice.

“It is very important to phone in advance because measles is highly infectious and you could infect other people in the medical waiting room,” says Dr Parker.

ARPHS is working closely with Kelston Boys’ High School to contact parents, teachers and staff and provide medical advice.

The best way to protect yourself and your family from measles is through immunisation. If you are unsure of your immunisation status, please call your doctors’ practice to check.

People who visited this location during the specified times will need to stay at home in isolation for 14 days after exposure to the disease if:

– They are not immune to measles

– They are unsure about their measles immunity and haven’t had a blood test to confirm their immune status

Those in isolation should remain at home and call Healthline or their doctor for further advice. They cannot visit other people and should stay away from public places, events, social activities and school/work environments.

People are considered immune:

– If they have received two doses of MMR vaccine and/or

– If they have previous measles illness and/or

– If they are born before 1969

New Zealand’s national immunisation schedule provides free MMR vaccinations for all children at 15 months and four years. Two doses of MMR vaccine is at least 97 percent effective in preventing measles.

People who have only had one dose of MMR vaccine should see their doctor for a free second dose

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