Measles outbreak in New Zealand's Canterbury widens to 20

Leslie Hanson
March 11, 2019

After the detailed survey regarding the timely vaccination of children, the Health department found that nearly one-fifth of the Canterbury did not get regular vaccinations.

"It can now be assumed that measles is circulating widely in our community", the DHB said in a statement.

The health authority is urging people who think they could have been exposed to contact a public health centre, and will hold immunization clinics this week.

One case of measles have been confirmed in the Interior Health region. It remains an important cause of death among young children globally, despite the availability of a safe and effective vaccine.

"Immunisation is the only sure way to avoid getting measles", Pink said.

According to a release from Interior Health, "the risk to the broader public is considered low", as it's the only confirmed case of measles in the region. People are contagious from four days before they get the rash to four days after it appears and should seek medical treatment and isolate themselves at home.

The outbreak was brought to New Zealand by a traveler.

'Since 2012, all cases of measles in New Zealand came from travelers bringing the disease from overseas, ' the Ministry of Health said in a statement on its website.

The World Health Organisation certified neighboring Australia as measles-free in 2014.

Measles is a serious and highly contagious viral disease where up to 30 per cent of those who catch it will develop complications.

Anyone exposed who might be at risk may notice their first symptoms about 10 to 12 days following exposure. Symptoms include fever, cough, runny nose, and red and inflamed eyes.

The rash begins on the face as flat, red spots and spreads down the neck and trunk to the rest of the body.

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