photo from RNZ

AUCKLAND, 13 DECEMBER 2019 – Passengers on board a flight from Apia to Auckland and Auckland to Wellington have been exposed to measles, after travelling with someone who did not know they were infected with the illness.

The infected passenger took Air New Zealand flight NZ959 from Apia to Auckland, which departed Samoa at 22.17pm on Friday, 06 December, and arrived in Auckland at 01.20am on Saturday, 07 December.

They then travelled from Auckland to Wellington on Air New Zealand flight NZ445, departing at 5pm and arriving in Wellington at 6.23pm on Saturday, December 7.

Hutt Valley DHB’s Regional Public Health was advising passengers on these flights to check if they had been immunised for measles.

Measles was highly infectious, and spread through the air via coughing and sneezing.

There have been more than 2100 cases of the illness across the country so far this year.

Samoa has been rocked by a measles outbreak in recent months. More than 5000 cases have been reported since the outbreak started, which had claimed 72 lives as of Friday.

RPH medical officer of health, Dr Annette Nesdale, said anyone at Auckland international or domestic terminal or Wellington domestic terminal around the time of the flights should also look for signs of measles.

It can take between 7-14 days to start experiencing symptoms of measles, which include a high fever, runny nose, cough and sore red eyes.

A few days later, a rash starts on the face and neck, before spreading to the rest of the body.

Nesdale said those who had not been vaccinated or had not had measles previously were most at risk.

Anyone over the age of 50 was considered immune, as they would have been exposed to the measles virus as a child….. (PACNEWS)