Passengers in NZ who flew from Jakarta to Sydney on February 15 urged to call Healthline over possible measles exposure

People on the February 15 flight are urged to call Healthline if they haven't been contacted already.
People on the February 15 flight are urged to call Healthline if they haven't been contacted already. Photo credit: Getty Images

 Te Whatu ora is urging anyone who travelled on flight QFA42/QF42 from Jakarta to Sydney on February 15, and who then flew to New Zealand to call Healthline on 0800 611 116 if they have not already been contacted by health officials.

The people on the flight may have been exposed to a confirmed measles case who is currently in Australia. Anyone who was on the February 15 flight should call Healthline immediately and isolate at home until they are contacted.

"To date, six contacts from the flight have been contacted, and Public Health Service staff are working to rapidly contact an additional 29 contacts who were identified yesterday," Te Whatu Ora  National Public Health Service spokesperson and clinical lead, Dr William Rainger said in a statement on Wednesday.

Rainger said Te Whatu Ora's focus is now on identifying passengers who travelled to New Zealand.

"Once identified, New Zealand Public Health Service staff will work rapidly to check immunity and implement appropriate public health actions, including vaccination."

Rainger said Measles is highly infectious and spreads easily to anyone who isn't immune.

The symptoms for measles usually develops within seven to 18 days of exposure.

Symptoms for measles include fever, cough, runny nose, sore and watery ‘pink’ eyes, followed by a blotchy rash.

"Measles is a serious illness, with the 2019 outbreak resulting in more than 2000 cases and over 700 hospitalisations. Hence it is vital that people who were on this flight, and who have not yet been contacted by Public Health staff, contact Healthline urgently and remain at home or at their accommodation," Rainger said.

Rainger said the best protection against measles is the free MMR vaccination.

"MMR is given as two doses – if you’re not sure that you’ve had two doses, play it safe and get vaccinated. There are no safety concerns with having an extra dose," Raimger said.

For measles or general enquiries, people can call 0800 11 12 13 or text 8988 for more help and information.