South Canterbury still measles free but concern deepens

Pearl Mccarthy
March 14, 2019

Authorities have confirmed having 25 cases of the disease in the Canterbury region.

The advent of anti-vaxxer groups (people who choose not to vaccinate themselves or their children against vaccine-preventable infections), has resulted in a number of sporadic outbreaks of measles across developed nations around the world.

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

Thousands of vaccines are being delivered to health centers in New Zealand's Canterbury district as a measles outbreak has widened to 20 confirmed cases with health officials warning the number is expected to rise over the coming days and weeks.

If your child has been immunized and still gets the virus, Shapiro said he or she won't get as sick a kid who was never vaccinated. It is caused by a highly contagious virus that is spread through the air by breathing, coughing, or sneezing.

"Immunisation is the only sure way to avoid getting measles". In Clark County, WA, at least 50 cases of measles - 47 of those were not vaccinated.

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Children and young adults (age range 5 years to 28 years) who are either not immunised or who have only received one MMR dose to date.

Centers for Disease Control (CDC) of the United States recommends routine childhood immunization and the MMR vaccine for students at post-high school educational institutions without evidence of measles immunity, people who are born during or after 1957 who do not have evidence of immunity against measles, and global travelers.

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

While children in OH schools are "required" to get vaccinations, the state is one of just 17 where law allows both "philosophical" and religious exceptions, allowing parents to opt out of vaccinations for their children.

Anyone with measles symptoms or who believes they may have been exposed, can contact their usual general practice 24/7 for additional advice.

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