Measles alarm for hip-hop crew

LIBBY WILSON
Last updated 05:00 03/01/2014
Original Kids Krew

OUTBREAK: Some members of Turangi’s Original Kids Krew, pictured here during their appearance on New Zealand’s Got Talent last year, have contracted measles.

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Members of a hip-hop dance crew who found fame on New Zealand's Got Talent are among the confirmed cases in a measles outbreak across the North Island.

Ten people contracted the infectious disease after a hip-hop event in Sydney. Nine are from Taupo and Turangi. The other confirmed case is in Auckland.

Those infected range in age from five to 28. They have been isolated, but no-one has been admitted to hospital.

Members of Turangi's Original Kids Krew are among those affected, but a spokesperson yesterday declined to comment.

The outbreak follows the World Supremacy Battlegrounds international hip-hop street dance competition in early December.

Four of the 10 confirmed cases attended and the rest are people who came into contact with them.

Public health officials have warned people who attended the event, or have been around someone who did, to look out for measles symptoms.

Bay of Plenty and Lakes District medical officer Neil de Wet said such people should call a doctor and be careful not to affect other people in the waiting room.

"The main thing is to prevent the spread," he said.

"From a public health perspective this is a very infectious illness and although the vast majority of people will make a full recovery, about 30 per cent get complications including things like pneumonia, ear infections and diarrhoea."

In New South Wales, health authorities confirmed three measles cases following the hip-hop event, and issued a public warning on Tuesday.

Public health staff in New Zealand are interviewing people who attended the event, checking whether they were immunised or infected.

Ministry of Health acting deputy director of public health Harriette Carr said the outbreak was significant, but not yet an epidemic.

Anyone with symptoms should contact the Healthline 0800 number or ring their doctor so their symptoms can be initially assessed without risk of infecting others in a waiting room or hospital emergency department, she said. 

MEASLES IS:

A severe viral infection of the respiratory system

Easily spread by coughing and sneezing

Symptoms include:

High temperature

Sore eyes

Small white spots developing inside the mouth

Harsh, dry cough

Aches and pains

Diarrhoea and vomiting

Red blotchy rash developing three or four days after initial symptoms

What to do:

Stay away from public places and non-immunised family members

Phone a doctor or Healthline (0800 611 116) as soon as possible 


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