The Ministry of Justice has advised that a Police Prosecutor from Christchurch has been diagnosed with measles. Advice from the ministry is that the Prosecutor will have had contact with many people in the period that they were infectious but not yet aware that they had contracted the measles.
Information provided by the ministry says any non-immunised, or partially immunised person, is at risk of catching the measles virus should they have had contact with either the Prosecutor concerned and/or any of their contacts. The latter will include all Prosecutors in the Christchurch district. The extent of other contacts will likely be extensive and impossible to trace.
The ministry says notice has been provided to the judiciary, all Ministry of Justice staff, all Police staff, representatives of the legal profession, and all ancillary agencies who work within the courts.
The Ministry of Health says two doses of the measles vaccine provides the most effective protection, and that anyone born in 1969 or later can get the measles vaccine for free. Some people born after 1 January 1969 will have only received one vaccination and should ensure they have another.
The ministry has an advisory on its website about vulnerable age groups, symptoms, prevention and other important information.
If anyone starts to experience any of the early symptoms of measles, then a precautionary approach is recommended and isolation pending diagnosis is the optimal course.
If you are not immunised, or partially immunised, then your GP will have limited supplies of the MMR vaccine available this week but these will be allocated according to those most at risk first. It is unlikely that there will be sufficient supplies to meet demand. Health authorities have determined how the vaccines should be allocated in the first instance.
If any lawyers or others involved in the justice system become unwell and contracts measles, further notifications will be required to be circulated. Contact with the New Zealand Law Society's Canterbury Westland branch, in the first instance, would be appreciated. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone (03) 366 9184