No more measles cases found

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No further cases of measles have been identified in North Otago after an Oamaru person was confirmed to have the highly-contagious disease last week.

More than 50 cases have been reported in Otago-Southland – including in Queenstown, Wanaka and Dunedin – in addition to the single case confirmed in Oamaru on October 2.

The Southern DHB has confirmed the movements of the Oamaru person infected, who attended events at Waitaki Boys’ High School and also visited several local businesses.

A Southern DHB spokeswoman said further tests were conducted on people who could have come into contact with the infected person, but no positive results had been recorded.

On September 26, the infected person was at a Waitaki Boys’ High School cross-country event (afternoon); the Waitaki Boys’ High School Social Centre (afternoon); Northside New World (4.30pm to 6pm) and the Waitaki Boys’ High School Social Centre (4pm-6pm).

On September 27, they visited ANZ Bank (lunch); North End Pharmacy (lunch); Northside New World (3pm to 4.30pm) and Oamaru Doctors (10am to 11.30am).

Vaccine supplies in the South remain restricted, but injections are available for priority groups, such as children aged under 5.

The spokeswoman said there was not a shortage of vaccines at medical practices in Oamaru.

“All practices have been allocated sufficient MMR vaccines to cover their immunisation schedule requirements (for 15-month-olds and 4-year-olds).

“The immunisation schedule is currently the priority for MMR vaccine allocation.”

A person with measles is infectious from five days before and until five days after the rash appears – about 10 days in total.

Unvaccinated people who come into close contact with a measles case might have caught the virus and may get sick.

Vulnerable people, including pregnant women, young babies, people with low immunity and those undergoing cancer treatment, should be the most aware of possible contact with measles.

Symptoms include a cough, high fever, runny nose and sore red eyes.

A rash begins on the head and spreads across the body after a few days.

More than 1600 measles cases have now been confirmed in New Zealand, the vast majority in Auckland.