Fiji has a measles vaccine coverage of 94% based on the 2018 WHO and UNICEF joint report

Fiji has a measles vaccine coverage of 94% based on the 2018 WHO and UNICEF joint report

By Iva Danford
Thursday 28/11/2019

Fiji has a measles vaccine coverage of 94% based on the 2018 WHO and UNICEF joint reporting process that takes into account the results of administrative data and periodic vaccination coverage surveys.

The Ministry says people are best protected if you received two doses of the measles vaccine or have had measles in the past.

They say that Fijians born before the 1980s when the measles vaccines was first introduced are generally considered immune as measles used to be very common childhood illness.

The Health Ministry is also urging people to avoid non essential travel to Serua/Namosi and avoid holding or attending large gatherings as measles can spread very easily in large groups of people if they are not immune.

The Ministry of Health has confirmed that the second phase of the measles immunization campaign will begin next week which will target those people who may not be fully immunized and are most at risk of the measles infection.

200,000 measles vaccines are expected to arrive this weekend.

They say that across Fiji it will target any child in Fiji who has not received 2 doses of a measles vaccine, any child aged 12 and 18 months who is scheduled for their routine measles immunization, any person in Fiji travelling overseas, all health care workers and all airport and hotel staff.

The Health Ministry states that in the Central Division only, the campaign will also target all children aged 6 months to 5 years, all people born between 1980 to 2000 (19 years to 39 years) and all residents of Serua/Namosi aged 6 months and older.

The confirmed number of measles cases still stands at 13.

The symptoms of measles are fever and a rash with a 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).

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