Armageddon measles? You may need to check

03:11, May 30 2014
 Armageddon
CULTURE: Thousands of people turned up to Armageddon to to buy memorobillia and get autographs - but they may have got a case of measles as well.

If you attended the Armageddon Expo in Hamilton on Sunday there is a chance you may have been exposed to measles.

That's the word from the Waikato District Health Board, which has sounded the alarm that someone with a confirmed case of measles case attended the second day of the pop culture convention at Claudelands Event Centre.

The person was well, but would have been infectious at the time, Waikato medical officer of health Dr Anita Bell said.

"Those who attended the event on Sunday need to be mindful of the signs and symptoms of measles within the next few weeks," Bell said.

"And it's a timely reminder to everyone else to check that they and their children are fully immunised against measles."

Waikato DHB's population health service has recently been notified of several confirmed cases of measles in Hamilton.

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"While there have been a number of cases of measles in New Zealand, the majority in Auckland, these are the first confirmed cases of measles in the Waikato," Bell said.

Anyone who attended the event on Sunday should check if they were not immune to measles.

People who are regarded as not immune to measles are: 

"Measles can be a very serious illness, with one in three sufferers experiencing complications such as ear infections, pneumonia, bronchitis or diarrhoea," Bell said.

"While one in 10 on average requires hospitalisation, admission rates in this outbreak have been higher."

Immunisation is the best protection from this potentially serious disease.

"Immunisation protects not only the individual, but also blocks the spread of this disease within our communities,"Bell said.

Unimmunised people who have had contact with a person with measles, are normally be advised to stay at home and away from all public places, school or work for 14 days after their contact.

Anyone born before 1969 or who has received two doses of MMR can reasonably assume they are already immune.

If families suspect someone has measles they should call their doctor, where possible, before visiting to avoid spreading the disease while waiting.

Measles is spread by tiny droplets in the air and is one of the few diseases that can spread so easily to those nearby.

Bell said anyone displaying symptoms of measles - which include fever, cough, blocked nose, sore red eyes - should immediately telephone their doctor or Healthline on 0800 611 116 for advice.

Visit waikatodhb.health.nz/measles for more information. 

What is measles?

Who is at risk of measles infection?

People are at risk of getting measles if they are not immune to measles. People who are regarded as not immune to measles are:

What should you do?

If you develop symptoms of measles:

• If you are unable to visit your GP phone Healthline on 0800 611 116.

Waikato Times