New Zealand records first measles case since 2020

A festival headlined by Brisbane band The Veronicas has been listed as a potential exposure site as New Zealand records its first case of measles in three years.

There are fears for a fresh outbreak, and possibly further outbreaks in Pacific nations, from the confirmed infection.

Health New Zealand advised late on Tuesday an adult living in Auckland tested positive for the highly infectious virus after catching the disease on recent travel overseas.

The health body has published a list of potential exposure events in Auckland and Tauranga between February 5 and 9 including a supermarket, pharmacy, cafe and hotel.

Health New Zealand has also listed the That Weekend festival, held in the Waikato town of Tirau, on February 5 as a location of interest, as well as buses to and from the event.

«Measles is a very serious illness that spreads very quickly. It is much more contagious than COVID-19, particularly amongst people who aren’t immune,» National Public Health Service director Nick Chamberlain said.

It is the first confirmed case since an outbreak that began in 2019, infecting 2195 and killing two people.

In that outbreak, 774 people who caught the virus — or more than one third of infections — were admitted to hospital.

The 2019 NZ outbreak also spawned further outbreaks in the Pacific.

An outbreak in Samoa late in 2019 — which infected more than 5000 people and killed 83 — and another in Tonga without fatalities were traced back to NZ.

Dr Chamberlain urged Kiwis to stay up to date with their vaccinations as a first line of defence against measles.

«The most important thing that people can do to protect themselves is to ensure they and their tamariki (children) are immunised. Vaccination is safe and effective,» he said.

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