More measles cases in New Zealand

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New Zealand authorities have said that passengers on a flight from Melbourne, Australia, to Christchurch, New Zealand, on 19 March were exposed to measles, with more cases having emerged on both sides of the Tasman.

There are now 35 confirmed cases of measles in the Canterbury region of New Zealand after a passenger who arrived in Christchurch on Virgin Australia flight VA99 from Melbourne was confirmed as having been infectious during the flight.

Anyone who travelled on the flight, which left Melbourne at 18:35 pm local time and arrived in Christchurch at 11:35 am is being asked to check their immunisation status with a healthcare provider.

Dr Alistair Humphrey, Canterbury Medical Officer of Health, said that any passenger or crew member who is not fully protected from the disease should quarantine themselves for the next week, even if they have no symptoms.

“If you were on this flight and aren't fully immunised against measles, you should also call anyone you have been in the same room with today to let them know that they too have been exposed to measles,” said Dr Humphrey. “This new secondary set of contacts will need to remain isolated for 14 days unless they are fully immunised.”