Warning issued after Christchurch man contracts measles

Cantabrians are asked to make sure their vaccinations are up to date and to watch out for measles symptoms.
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Cantabrians are asked to make sure their vaccinations are up to date and to watch out for measles symptoms.

A measles warning has been issued after a Christchurch man contracted the highly-contagious disease while holidaying in Bali.

Health officials issued the warning after it was confirmed the 23-year-old had measles on Thursday.

Canterbury medical officer of health Dr Ramon Pink warned the disease was extremely infectious and said it was a timely reminder for everyone to check their immunisations were up-to-date.

"The measles virus spreads easily from person to person through the air, via breathing, coughing and sneezing.

READ MORE: Measles forces families to re-think vaccination status

"It starts with fever, runny nose, cough, red eyes, and sore throat. This is followed by a rash that spreads over the body," he said.

The latest case was isolated and the man's infectious period would end on May 21.

"Unfortunately, New Zealanders face a heightened risk of measles as a result of the decision by parents in the 1990s not to get their children immunised due to now discredited research on the link between the measles vaccine and autism," Pink said.

"Measles cannot be treated once you get it so the only way to protect yourself is to be fully vaccinated. While it's important to get vaccines on time, every time, it's never too late."

People who were in the areas listed below are urged to phone their doctor 24/7 for #carearoundtheclock if they are concerned:

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People who are not fully immunised are asked to keep watch for symptoms and anyone who has been in the following places is asked to phone their doctor if they are concerned:

- Countdown Northwood on May 14 (5pm to 6pm);

- The waiting room at ProMed Edgeware on 15 May (11am to 1.15pm) or May 16 (11am to 1.15pm);

- Southern Community Laboratory Blood Test Centre at Forte Health on May 15 (1pm to 3pm) or May 16 (12pm to 2pm);

- Christchurch Hospital emergency department on May 16 (3.45pm to 9pm).

ARE YOU IMMUNE?

Community and Public Health says people are considered immune if they have:

- Received two doses of MMR vaccine and/or
- Have had a previous measles illness and/or
- Were born before 1969.

 - Stuff

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