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Air New Zealand Exposes 84 to Potentially Fatal Virus

Posted by te2ataria on December 17, 2009

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Urgent Health Warning!

At least 84 passengers may have been exposed to measles virus on 2 Air New Zealand flights

At least 84 passengers may have been exposed to measles virus on two Air New Zealand flights: Flight NZ1 from London to Auckland on Monday, December 7, and the connecting domestic flight NZ509 from Auckland to Christchurch.


Original photo is by Gail Selkirk and may be subject to copyright.

“Auckland and Canterbury health authorities are trying to contact people sitting near the [infected] baby on both flights; for the international leg, 56 people sitting in rows 56-60 were at risk while 28 people sitting in rows 13-17 were exposed on the domestic flight.” A report said.

It is important that passengers sitting in those rows contact the health authorities to help prevent the spread of the highly infectious and potentially deadly virus that could spread rapidly among unimmunized groups.

“These passengers, or their family members, who have symptoms suggestive of measles are advised to immediately seek advice from a doctor,” Auckland Regional Public Health Service medical officer Dr Brad Novak said.

“Call ahead to alert your doctor or practice nurse about the possibility of measles as this will allow them to arrange to assess you safely without infecting others. People who suspect they may have measles should avoid contact with young children and pregnant women.”

People most at risk of contracting the disease are those who had not had the measles, mumps, rubella vaccine or who had just had one dose of it, the report said.

Some facts about measles:

  • Measles is an infection of the respiratory system caused by a virus.
  • The classical symptoms of measles include four day fevers, cough, runny nose and conjunctivitis (sore, red eyes).
  • Measles is a leading cause of vaccine-preventable childhood mortality, World Health Org says.
  • The measles incubation period is up to 21 days.
  • Measles killed 345,000 in 2005.
  • Measles virus is spread by
    • breathing
    • coughing
    • sneezing
  • The measles incubation period is about 21 days.

Measles can be fatal.

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