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Measles outbreak alert

Last updated 05:00 14/03/2014

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Passengers on three Auckland flights have been exposed to measles.

A person with measles, who was infectious at the time of travel, was on board an Air New Zealand flight from Auckland to Christchurch on March 2 and an Air New Zealand flight from Christchurch to Auckland on March 4.

A passenger on a Singapore Airlines flight from Singapore to Auckland on March 4 was also infectious at the time of travel.

There have been 69 confirmed cases of measles in Auckland so far this year.

It can take 10 to 14 days for someone who has caught the highly infectious viral disease to start showing any symptoms.

Passengers who sat nearest the infected passengers have the highest risk and are the Auckland Regional Public Health Service's first priority, medical officer of health Richard Hoskins says.

"Their local public health service will try to contact them if they might be susceptible," Dr Hoskins says.

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

Symptoms start with a high fever which develops about 10 days after exposure to someone with the virus.

This can be followed by a runny nose, cough, red eyes and small white spots inside the mouth.

A red blotchy rash on the neck and face appears after three or four days before spreading all over the body.

Phone your GP or call Healthline on 0800 611 116 for advice. Phone ahead of visiting your GP to avoid spreading measles in waiting rooms.

AT RISK

Flights affected by measles:

■ Air New Zealand NZ501 from Auckland to Christchurch, which departed at 6.50am on March 2

■ Air New Zealand NZ548 from Christchurch to Auckland, which departed at 6.55pm on March 4

■ Singapore Airlines flight SQ285 from Singapore to Auckland, which departed on March 4. 

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