Mass gathering advisory in place due to measles outbreak lifted

Mass gathering advisory in place due to measles outbreak lifted

By Shanil Singh
Friday 10/01/2020

The Ministry of Health is now lifting the mass gatherings advisory that has been in place due to the measles outbreak.

The Ministry says this is after consideration of the following by the National Measles Taskforce that since the outbreak was declared on 7th November last year, around 459,000 people in Fiji have been immunised against measles.

The national measles vaccination coverage for 6 month 5-year-olds is at 95.3 % and 91 % for 19-39-year-olds.

They say the Central Division where all cases to date are from reached the goal of at least 95 percent measles vaccination coverage for the 6 month – 5 year old and 19-39 target groups as of December 24th, 2019.

The Western, Northern, and Eastern Divisions are close to achieving at least 95 % coverage for the target groups in their respective divisions – and are expected to reach the goal within the next 1-2 weeks.

However, the Ministry is advising the public to continue to take precautions.

They say if people or their loved ones are in a measles vaccination target group and have not been vaccinated during this campaign they should get vaccinated now.

The Health Ministry says people should avoid non-essential travel to the outbreak areas of Sakoca in Tacirua, Naikorokoro Village in Lami, Saumakia Village in Naitasiri, Nasilai Village in Nakelo, and Serua/Namosi.

It further says if people are holding an event or gathering with international visitors, or participants from an outbreak area, they strongly encourage them to get vaccinated against measles at least two weeks before travel. 

This especially applies to visitors travelling from other countries with measles outbreaks i.e. New Zealand, Samoa, Tonga, American Samoa, Kiribati, and Papua New Guinea.

The Ministry says while new cases continue to be reported in the Central Division, the number of new cases per week has decreased.

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