Monday, 25 March, 2019


18,000 extra measles vaccines on way to Canterbury

Measles outbreak in New Zealand's Canterbury widens to 20 New Zealand measles outbreak sparks delivery of thousands of MMR vaccines to South Island
Patty Aguilar | 14 March, 2019, 07:55

Measles is a serious, highly infectious, potentially life-threatening disease.

The highly contagious disease can spread through coughing and sneezing, and the virus can live for up to two hours in the air or on a surface.

The measles vaccine is very effective, about 97 percent after two doses, DSHS explains.

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". Lindenberger got his vaccinations himself when he turned 18.

The DHB said under-immunised people who came within two metres of an infectious person, however briefly, had a 90 per cent chance of contracting measles. "Those aged between 29 and 50 will only have had one measles vaccination and are not considered immune".

Data from 2018 shows that 10% of cases are between 6 and 15 years of age, whereas 15% are between 16 and 30 years of age.

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

The MMR vaccine which immunizes against measles is still available at a number of locations in Vancouver, including community health centres, walk-in clinics, and family doctors' offices.

For children who are too young to have had both MMRs or who cannot be immunised for other reasons, the best way to protect them is to ensure everyone around them has been vaccinated - if you can't get it, you can't pass it on.

To combat the outbreak, around 3000 and a further 18000 doses of measles vaccine have been sent to Canterbury this week. As of the early 2000's, Measles was thought to have been eradicated from the United States, but in recent years as people are less concerned about the disease some people are opting out of the vaccine, which leads to pockets of the country where the disease can re-appear and spread rapidly. The county health director says the department has identified everyone in the small group the infected person has come in contact with recently and is interviewing them about possible symptoms.

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