18th January 12:21 PM
21 confirmed cases of measles in Fiji
By Priteshni Nand
Saturday 14/12/2019

There are now 21 confirmed cases of measles in Fiji.

The Health Ministry says the latest confirmed cases are a 13-year-old child from Nasilai Village in Nakelo, Rewa and a 27-year old from Saumakia Village in Naitasiri.

The Ministry says the latest confirmed cases are both contacts of previously confirmed measles cases in those villages.

It says the Rewa and Naitasiri outbreak response teams have carried out the necessary interventions including isolation of cases, quarantine, and vaccination of contacts and at-risk communities.

It confirms that the 9-month-old baby from Davuilevu who also stayed at Saumakia Settlement in Naitasiri is still admitted under isolation at CWM Hospital in a stable condition.

The 21 cases to date are from the following areas in the Central Division:

-12 cases from the Serua/Namosi Subdivision (Wailali, Wainadoi, Navunikabi, and Makosoi Deuba)

-4 cases from Suva Subdivision (Samabula, Vatuwaqa, Tacirua, Wailekutu).

-4 cases from Rewa Subdivision (Koronivia, Nasilai Village Nakelo, Davuilevu).

-1 case from Naitasiri Subdivision (Saumakia Village)

Measles is a highly contagious disease; therefore, non-essential travel to Serua/Namosi and Nasilai Village in Nakelo is strongly discouraged, as are mass gatherings in these areas. The Ministry advises that it will not support and has not supported any requests to condone mass gatherings in these locations.

The Head of Health Protection at the Ministry of Health, Dr. Aalisha Sahukhan says the Measles Vaccination Campaign begun in the Western and Eastern Divisions yesterday.

Sahukhan says the vaccination campaign in the North will begin next Monday.

The Ministry of Health teams is also going to settlements to immunise people in the target groups.

Vaccination booths will be open from 9 am to 6 pm Monday to Friday and 9 am to 3 pm on Saturday and Sunday in all locations in the West.

Sahukhan says over 200,000 people have been vaccinated against measles since the outbreak was declared.

The national campaign will continue to target people who are most at risk of being infected by measles and spreading the disease.

Sahukhan adds that pregnant women, babies under the age of 6 months, those with a compromised immune system and those with a known allergy to the vaccine should not be vaccinated.

She says people aged 40 and over will not be vaccinated as they are likely to have had measles as a child and therefore have life-long immunity.

The campaign will continue in the Central Division and the Ministry is aiming to vaccinate all the target groups by Christmas.

Pacific Specialist Healthcare
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