New Zealand Faces Measles Outbreak

Ben Davidson
March 14, 2019

While there have been no confirmed cases of measles in South Canterbury, doctors and nurses have been dealing with an increasing number of concerned people as the virus continues to spread through Canterbury. It can now be assumed that measles is circulating widely in our community.

Measles is a disease that can lead to serious complications, such as pneumonia (infection of the lungs), and even death.

Measles is caused by a virus that can spread through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes. People are infectious from five days before the onset of the rash until five days after the rash appears.

According to DSHS, measles is so contagious that if one person is infected then 90 percent of the people around that person who are not immune will catch it.

Janak Peris, 44, dairy worker: "Maybe teach the public to avoid the people who got it, and contain those who have it inside their houses". In Clark County, WA, at least 50 cases of measles - 47 of those were not vaccinated.

The four-year-old MMR could be brought forward to no sooner than four weeks after the previous MMR.

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"Since the beginning of this year, New Zealand has seen an increase in measles cases", it said.

With Canterbury health centers running out of vaccines since the start of the outbreak in late February, 3,000 MMR vaccines had been brought by Sunday (March 10) and 18,000 more are to be delivered to the region by Wednesday.

Given their higher risk, our focus over the short term is to provide MMR immunizations to those under 29 years who are not fully vaccinated.

Babies whose mother is immune will have some protection if they are now being breastfed.

"If you think you may have been exposed to measles or have symptoms, please call your general practice first, 24/7". The department is "working directly with the case to identify potential contacts and make arrangements for follow up immunizations and care if necessary", officials said in a release. However, that is putting peoples lives and health at risk.

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