Wednesday December 28, 2016
National Health Advisory
The Ministry of Health has been advised of a case of infectious measles upon a cruise ship which departed Los Angeles on 5 December and reached Ft. Lauderdale, Florida on 20 December 2016. New Zealanders are known to have been on board during the infectious period which ended 15 December. The cruise ship company has now notified all passengers who were aboard this vessel of their exposure, but as we are outside of the prophylaxis period for contacts the US Centers For Disease Control are not pursuing contact investigations at this time, nor have the names of passengers been released.
This Advisory is offered to alert all health care providers to be aware of the potential for measles in patients who have recently returned to New Zealand from a cruise overseas. The infectious period on board this cruise is thought to have been from 11 December through 15 December. Therefore if any cases develop from exposure to this index case they should present by 3 January, though outliers are possible.
Please take this opportunity to ensure that all of your patients travelling overseas are fully vaccinated, as exposure can occur in a range of settings. Measles vaccination is safe, effective, and free to New Zealand residents who are not fully protected and who were born after 1969.
For further information please consult the Communicable Disease Manual (http://www.health.govt.nz/system/files/documents/publications/cd-manual-measles-may2012.pdf) or contact your regional Medical Officer of Health.