Measles outbreak: Fiji now records 18 confirmed cases

Members of the public line up in numbers to get their measles vaccine injection at Ratu Sukuna Park in Suva on Wednesday, December 04, 2019. Picture: JONACANI LALAKOBAU

THERE are now 18 confirmed cases of measles in the country.

According to the Ministry of Health, the latest confirmed cases are a three-month-old baby from Wailali Settlement in Wainadoi, and a one-year-five-month-old from Wailekutu in Lami.

The ministry states the respective outbreak response teams had rapidly responded to the latest cases.

The 18 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), and
  • 2 cases from Rewa Subdivision (Koronivia, Nasilai Village Nakelo).

The ministry also notes that in the first two days of phase two of the mass vaccination campaign – that started on Wednesday, more than 70 health teams had vaccinated more than 45,000 people across the Central Division.

Opening times of vaccination booths have been changed to 9am to 6pm – Monday to Friday and they will also be open from 9am to 3pm on Saturday in all locations.

The ministry will continue to issue daily advisories in all media outlets which will provide updates on the mass vaccination campaign.

The ministry continues to reiterate that to help stop the spread of the disease, the populace are advised of the following precautions:

  • Avoid non-essential travel to Serua/Namosi and Nasilai Village in Nakelo. If you need to travel to these areas, please get vaccinated against measles at least two weeks before travel. Please avoid taking those that cannot get vaccinated (e.g. babies under the age of 6 months and pregnant women) to the outbreak areas,
  • Avoid holding or attending large gatherings of people, especially in Central Division, but also those that bring participants from across the country or overseas (such as youth camps, religious gatherings, graduation ceremonies, sporting events, etc.). Measles can spread very easily among large groups of people if they are not immune, who can then take the disease back into their communities,
  • If you are holding an event with international visitors, or participants from an outbreak area, please strongly encourage them to get vaccinated against measles at least two (2) weeks before travel. This especially applies to visitors traveling from other countries with measles outbreaks i.e. New Zealand, Samoa and Tonga.

The Ministry of Health and Medical Services is conducting an immunisation campaign targeting people who may not be fully immunised and are most at risk of measles infection. Close to 100,000 people around the country were vaccinated in phase one of the campaign.

This includes more than 20,000 people in the outbreak area of Serua/Namosi.

People who were vaccinated in phase one of the campaign will not be vaccinated again in phase two.

More Stories