51 people quarantined after measles outbreak

Auckland Regional Public Health Service confirmed a measles alert for Sky City Casino and Sugar Tree apartments.
JOHN SELKIRK/FAIRFAX NZ

Auckland Regional Public Health Service confirmed a measles alert for Sky City Casino and Sugar Tree apartments.

A person who ignored quarantine requirements has potentially put hundreds of people at risk with three more measles cases confirmed, and 51 people quarantined.

On Wednesday, Auckland Regional Public Health Service (ARPHS) confirmed a measles alert for Sky City Casino and Sugar Tree apartments after a carrier of the disease ignored medical instructions to go into quarantine.

Now, ARPHS confirmed 51 people have been forced into home quarantine and three more cases confirmed. 

Measles cannot be treated once someone gets it so for full protection, vaccination is highly recommended.
SUPPLIED.

Measles cannot be treated once someone gets it so for full protection, vaccination is highly recommended.

"Anyone who is instructed to go into isolation is there because they could potentially develop measles.

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"Currently there are 51 people in isolation but this should decrease ... pending lab results," medical officer of health Dr Richard Hoskins said, according to The Herald

They had no clues the carrier would leave their quarantine and asked for people to follow medical instructions, Hoskins said. 

"We had no indication this person was going to be non-compliant with our instructions. When we became aware of the situation it was too late. The risk to other people's health and the cost to the public health system is significant and avoidable" he said.

The person contracted measles when they were seated two rows behind an infected passenger on China Southern Airlines flight CZ305, which arrived at Auckland airport on January 30.

This was the second case of measles from that flight.

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The places and times where Aucklanders could have caught measles are:

1. Levels 2, 3 and the public areas of Sky City Casino between 9.45pm and 12am on February 9.

2. The lifts and common areas of Sugar Tree apartments on February 9 to 13.

People who visited Skycity Casino or Sugar Tree apartments during the specified dates and time and are feeling unwell should 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," Hoskins said.

"My plea is that people follow medical instructions when they have been exposed to measles. For everyone else it's a timely reminder to check their immunisations are up-to-date. Measles cannot be treated once you get it so the only way to protect yourself is to be fully vaccinated."

 - Stuff

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