Infected passenger travelling Auckland to Palmerston North sparks measles warning

The passenger did not know they were infected when they flew.
The passenger did not know they were infected when they flew. Photo credit: Getty

Passengers who flew between Auckland and Palmerston North earlier this month may be at risk of catching measles.

A person infected with the disease flew between the two cities on July 6 and July 7, putting other passengers at risk, according to the Auckland Regional Public Health Service (ARPHS).

Although the person was infectious, they did not know they had the disease when they flew, a spokesperson for ARPHS said.

Passengers who flew from Auckland to Palmerston North on flight NZ5119, which departed at 7:20am on Saturday July 6, or from Palmerston North to Auckland on flight NZ5114, leaving 2:30pm on Sunday July 7, may have been exposed to the disease.

ARPHS clinical director Dr Julia Peters says all passengers on these flights, as well as anyone else who was in the two terminals around the time of the flights should watch for signs of symptoms. 

"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," says Dr Peters. "People who are not immune may start experiencing symptoms over the next week."

Symptoms initially include a high fever, runny rose, cough and sore red eyes. This is followed a few days later by a rash spreading across the face and neck, and then over the body.

Anyone who thinks they may have measles is urged to visit a doctor.