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4 confirmed cases of measles and all from Wailali Settlement in Wainadoi - Dr. Aalisha Sahukhan

4 confirmed cases of measles and all from Wailali Settlement in Wainadoi - Dr. Aalisha Sahukhan

By Priteshni Nand
Wednesday 13/11/2019
Ministry of Health and Medical Services Head of Health Protection, Dr.Aalisha Sahukhan

Ministry of Health and Medical Services Head of Health Protection, Dr Aalisha Sahukhan says there are four confirmed cases of measles in Fiji and all are from Wailali Settlement in Wainadoi.

The 4 confirmed cases are of a 4 month and a 6-year-old child, and two adults between the ages of 20 and 25 and all four cases are linked to each other.

Dr. Sahukhan confirms that 95% of the population in Serua/Namosi Subdivision have been vaccinated by medical staff following a declaration of a measles outbreak there last Thursday.

She says the ministry is discouraging people from travelling to Serua/Namosi if there is no immediate need to go there.

Dr. Sahukhan says people intending to travel to Serua and Namosi should get vaccinated against measles at least two weeks before travel.

She says the ministry is still investigating how the disease was brought into Fiji.

She says the ministry of health has 90,000 vaccinations in stock in case of an immediate measles outbreak in Fiji.

Dr. Sahukhan says health staff are also at Nadi International Airport and are keeping an eye out for symptoms of measles from people arriving into the country.

The Health Ministry says there have been zero new cases of measles since the last update given last Thursday.

Free vaccine is available at the nearest health centre for those aged 12 months and above who are travelling overseas or to an outbreak area.

Babies aged between 6 and 12 months can also get vaccinated if they are travelling to an area with an ongoing outbreak of measles but they still need to receive their next scheduled measles vaccines as per the Fiji immunisation schedule.

The Ministry has stressed that pregnant women should not be vaccinated.

The symptoms of measles are fever and a rash with runny nose, sneezing, cough, red and watery eyes and white spots inside the mouth.

The rash starts after the other symptoms and spreads all over the body.

Measles is a highly infectious airborne viral disease that spreads easily through the air through breathing, coughing, and sneezing.

You are at risk of getting measles if you breathe the same air as someone with the disease and you are not immune if you have not been vaccinated, or you have never had the disease.

There is no specific treatment for measles, as it is the body’s immune system that fights off the disease.

Most people recover from measles infection in 8-10 days with rest and ensuring that they are eating and drinking to avoid dehydration.

Some people infected with measles develop severe complications such as pneumonia or encephalitis (brain swelling).

The last measles outbreak in Fiji was in 2006 and the last cases of measles was reported in 2016 which was brought in by people from other countries.

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