Saturday, 23 March, 2019

Health officials link measles outbreak to lack of vaccinations

Jefferson County reporting first case of measles Jefferson County reporting first case of measles
Johnnie Parks | 14 March, 2019, 07:54

A major vaccination drive will get underway in the South Island of New Zealand as health authorities respond to the latest measles outbreak which was confirmed recently and is expected to spread across the South Island's Canterbury region.

Twenty-five cases have been confirmed in Canterbury and that number is likely to increase due to the highly contagious nature of the measles virus.

In a statement, the Canterbury District of Health said "It can now be assumed that measles is circulating widely in our community".

"Unimmunized people who come within two meters of an infectious person, however briefly, have a 90 percent chance of contracting measles", the board said.

New Zealand, like many other countries, is seeing a resurgence of measles, following skepticism from growing sectors of the population that the MMR vaccination can cause autism - a belief that has been thoroughly and repeatedly debunked by global health experts, including the World Health Organisation.

For every 1,000 children who get measles, one or two will die. I hate reading an article about a kid dying from measles all because that child did not have his or her vaccinations.

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There have been 11 reports of measles across Texas this year.

The incident is related to an out-of-state case of measles that was contracted by the recipient while traveling. In 2015, for instance, there were 154 cases in the first two months of the year followed by just 34 for the remainder of the year, putting it at right about average relative to the past decade's annual totals.

Measles is one of the most contagious of all infectious diseases; approximately 9 out of 10 susceptible persons with close contact to a measles patient will develop measles.

"The MMR vaccine is very effective and it's free".

To combat the outbreak, around 3000 and a further 18000 doses of measles vaccine have been sent to Canterbury this week.

Anyone who suspected they had measles should avoid contact with other people, and call Healthline on 0800 611 116 or their general practice.

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