Monday October 17, 2016
POTENTIAL MEASLES CONTACTS ACROSS NEW ZEALAND:
CONFIRMED CASE IN QUEENSTOWN HOSPITALITY WORKER
Public Health South has been notified of a case of measles in Queenstown.
This case, while infectious, worked at a food service establishment with a largely tourist clientele from 5 October- 9 October. The case also visited a range of other sites across Queenstown while infectious. Queenstown's tourism focus leads to a large number of visitors, both domestic and international.
As such there is potential for the case to have had contacts that are now distributed across New Zealand.
Public Health South issued the following media statement this afternoon:
Thursday 13 October 2016
Confirmed measles case in Queenstown
Southern DHB/Public Health South has been notified that a Queenstown resident has been confirmed as infected with measles. Public Health staff are conducting a contact investigation and recommending vaccination to anyone who may have been exposed or is not fully protected in order to reduce the likelihood of further cases.
Contact tracing has already begun. Close personal contacts are currently being managed by Public Health South.
The case developed symptoms on 10 October and was confirmed as measles 12 October.
The case, who is currently in isolation, is infectious from October 5-15. They have visited several locations in Queenstown before they were aware they were ill (please see attached background information for a list of locations).
During their infectious period the case visited Queenstown Medical Centre for three days from October 10-12. Anyone who may have encountered the case at the Queenstown Medical Centre has been identified and will be contacted and offered vaccination or other appropriate treatment to reduce their risk of contracting measles.
The school the case attends has also been informed, although at this stage there is no information that any school students are at increased risk of developing measles.
“While infectious the case has had contact with a significant number of people in Queenstown,” says Dr Marion Poore, Southern DHB Medical Officer of Health.
“It usually takes 10-14 days for someone who has caught measles to develop symptoms. If anyone has been infected at the locations listed, they could start to develop symptoms from as soon as tomorrow.”
"We're asking people who haven't been immunised and who may have been in contact with the case to keep a close eye out for these symptoms. If you develop symptoms, stay home and phone your general practice or Healthline (0800 611 116) and let them know that you have potentially been in contact with a confirmed measles case," said Dr Poore.
Anyone with measles needs to be isolated from the time they become ill until 5 days after the rash has appeared. Isolation means staying at home and missing out on things like school, work, sporting competitions and social events.
Public Health South urges anyone who may have been in locations listed in the attached document during the specified period who is not sure if they are immune to measles to check their status with their general practitioner.
Dr Poore continues: “Although it’s important to get vaccines on time, every time, it's never too late. If you need more information on immunisation contact your family doctor.”
Public Health South are exploring mechanisms to make vaccination more widely accessible to the Wakatipu community.
For more information on measles please visit the Ministry of Health website.