Warning after passenger with measles took flight to Auckland

The passenger caught flight NZ270 from Auckland on Monday.
The passenger caught flight NZ270 from Auckland on Monday. Photo credit: Getty.

A warning has been issued after a passenger with measles flew between Auckland and Tonga and back again. 

 Auckland Regional Public Health Service (ARPHS) Medical Officer of Health, Dr Maria Poynter, says people who may have been exposed on these flights should be vigilant for symptoms of the highly infectious disease.

The passenger caught flight NZ270 from Auckland on Monday at 08.30 and landed in Nuku’alofa at 11:15. They then departed Nuku’alofa at 12:30 on flight NZ273 landing in Auckland at 3:15 pm.

Poynter advises passengers on the flight who are unsure of whether they’re immune to measles to check with their doctor or call Healthline on 0800 611 116 for advice.

"Parents of unimmunised children under 12 months of age on the flight as should see their doctor urgently," said Poynter. 

"It can take 7-14 days to start experiencing symptoms and you are most at risk if you’re not immune to measles, either because you haven’t been vaccinated or you haven’t had the disease previously," she continues. 

The reaction comes after a state of emergency was called in Samoa in late 2019.

 Eighty-three people perished with many deaths being unimmunised children.

Samoa's Ministry of Health The Ministry confirmed in late December that 5,707  measles cases had been reported to the Disease Surveillance Team, since the outbreak started.

"Currently the outbreak is declining with 2 new cases reported between 13th January and 20th January 2020," reported the Government of Samoa. 

Since the outbreak, the total number of measles cases admitted to all hospitals recorded have been 1,868.. of that, 1,717 patients have been discharged.