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Health Ministry confirms 2nd phase of measles immunisation campaign to begin next week

Health Ministry confirms 2nd phase of measles immunisation campaign to begin next week

By Iva Danford
Thursday 28/11/2019

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 dozes 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 Ministry say that the Central Division is prioritized for this phase of the campaign as all confirmed cases to date are in this division and the focus remains on containing the current outbreak.

Already close to 100,000 people around the country have been vaccinated in phase one of the immunization campaign and this includes over 18,000 people in the outbreak area of Serua/Namosi.

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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