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Measles outbreak continues in New Zealand

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Christian Fernsby ▼ | July 2, 2019
Pacific   Measles

Twenty-eight measles cases were reported in a week across New Zealand, showing no sign of easing, said local health research institute on Tuesday.

New Zealand's Environmental Science and Research (ESR) surveillance data show that there have been 260 confirmed cases of measles so far this year, with a further 28 notifications in the latest week in Auckland, Wellington and Northland.

According to the Auckland Regional Public Health Service, five cases have been reported since Monday, putting the total number of Measles case in Auckland to 154.

ESR Public Health Physician Dr. Jill Sherwood said that measles is a serious and highly infectious disease, urging parents to take the risk of measles very seriously, especially at the beginning of school holidays when travel increases and families are more widely mixed in the community.

Dr. Sherwood said that genotyping analysis of virus strains, known to be circulating in New Zealand in 2019, has so far identified eight separate outbreaks, each linked to an international arrival.

In order to protect those most vulnerable in this outbreak, the first measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccination has been brought forward to 12 months from 15 months in Auckland.

The Auckland Regional Public Health Service (ARPHS) and Ministry of Health are recommending all one-year-old children in the region receive their first MMR early to protect them from measles.

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