You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Alert after boy on flight had measles

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 27/01/2017

<span style="font-size:13px;">A boy on an Air NZ flight from Singapore was infectious with measles, prompting a warning from health officials.</span> © Getty Images A boy on an Air NZ flight from Singapore was infectious with measles, prompting a warning from health officials. Travellers who arrived at Auckland International Airport on Air New Zealand flight NZ281 from Singapore at midnight on January 25 may have been exposed to measles from a six-year-old boy.

The boy was infectious while on the flight.

The Auckland Regional Public Health Service says passengers closest to the boy were seated in rows 34 to 49.

"If you feel unwell, please don't visit your doctor. It is important to call first, because measles is highly infectious and people with measles can infect others in the waiting room," says Dr David Sinclair, the area's medical officer of health.

It could be another five days before symptoms appear but if anyone seated in those rows knows they don't have immunity to measles they can be vaccinated, and that could prevent the symptoms developing.

He says any passengers on that flight who start to feel unwell should telephone their doctor or call Healthline on 0800 611-116 for advice.

ARPHS is attempting to contact all exposed people, checking whether they are susceptible to measles infection, and offering advice which includes further immunisation, or possibly isolation to avoid spreading the disease.

People most at risk of contracting the disease are those who have not had the measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine, or who have just had one dose of the vaccine. Anyone born before 1969 is likely to be immune to the disease without having had the vaccine.

Dr Sinclair says measles is infectious before the rash appears and is one of the most infectious airborne diseases. Other passengers on the flight could also be infected.

One in 10 people with measles need hospital treatment and the most serious cases can result in deafness or swelling of the brain.

The time delay from being exposed to measles to developing symptoms is usually eight to 14 days, but can be up to 21 days.

The first symptoms are a fever, and one or more of a runny nose, cough and sore red eyes.

Then a red blotchy rash comes on and lasts up to one week. The rash usually starts on the face and spreads to the rest of the body.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon