measles

Effective outbreak response reduces the risk of measles spread in the Pacific

For Samoa, the country experienced a widescale measles outbreak which had significant impact upon the country’s population and health system.

The disease has cost lives, with infants and young children being most affected.

In response to the identification of measles in the region, many Pacific countries and areas have made serious efforts to close immunity gaps in their population and strengthen infectious disease prevention, surveillance and response systems.

Another measles case confirmed in American Samoa

The government said the latest case was a 28-year-old man from Fagaitua village, who has not left American Samoa in the past three months.

A woman, 27, is also thought to have measles, with samples sent to Hawaii for testing.

The territory is under an emergency declaration, with travel restrictions imposed on the territory's border, public gatherings restricted, and a mass vaccination campaign underway.

Earlier this week, the US announced it would provide $US490,000 of funding to help support the territory's efforts to prevent the spread of the virus.

Fiji lifts measles emergency measure banning mass gatherings

The government said the removal of the ban comes after serious consideration by the National Measles Taskforce.

Since the outbreak, which has seen 28 confirmed measles cases, was declared in November, around 459,000 people have been immunised across the country.

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

However it said despite the advisory against gatherings being lifted members of the public are still being urged to take precautions and to make sure they get vaccinated.

Baby in Niue hospitalised with suspected case of measles

The baby is one of 15 in the New Zealand territory who has not yet been vaccinated due to being aged under 12 months.

The child was admitted to Niue Fo'ou Hospital on Tuesday.

Parents with babies aged under one year and unimmunised pregnant mothers have been advised to avoid the hospital.

The Niue Health Department said, as of 13 December all children aged one to two years had been vaccinated while two to four year olds were at 96 percent.

Primary school aged children are at 85 percent and high school students are at 92 percent.

Kiribati records first measles case

The bloodwork of an 11-month-old boy from Eita village in Tarawa, who tested positive for measles, was among 16 samples that were sent to Fiji for testing and were returned on Tuesday.

The Health Ministry said the boy has received treatment and is recovering.

The Kiribati Measles Task Force is working to confirm contact-tracing and co-ordinate measures to minimise the risk of the further spread of measles in the country.

     

Solomons imposes travel restrictions over Pacific measles outbreak

The outbreak which started in New Zealand has hit Samoa the hardest with 76 people killed as of Wednesday and more than 5,300 cases recorded since October.

A statement from the Solomon Islands health ministry issued on 11 December said everyone travelling to Solomon Islands must present a traveller's public health declaration card on arrival.

Anyone travelling from countries affected by measles must show certified proof that they have received a measles vaccination at least three weeks prior to arriving in Solomon Islands.

American Samoa lifts public gathering ban

 

He said he was briefed by health officials and based on that, he had made changes to the public health emergency declaration.

The ban on entry permits has also been lifted but are still subject to restrictions.

The proclamation of amended restriction during the continued public health emergency includes the following:

The restriction on public gatherings is hereby lifted

All entry permits from the Independent State of Samoa will require a 15 day review period while those from other countries will be under review for 30 days

American Samoa tests for local measles transmission

Department of Health Epidemiologist Dr. Aifili John Tufa said they are still investigating how the child contracted the measles virus.

The territory has received a shipment of 8,000 vaccines from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and is launching a mass vaccination program in villages tomorrow.

Tomorrow is the vaccination of employees of the StarKist Samoa cannery which has a workforce of 2,000.

This past week only one measles suspected case was seen at the LBJ Hospital and a blood sample is being sent to Hawaii for testing.

American Samoa confirms nine measles cases

Of the nine, five are people who are travellers to the territory.

Epidemiologist Dr Aifili John Tufa announced the outbreak during a live broadcast fundraiser to help neighbouring Samoa's fight against the disease.

Dr Tufa later told KHJ News they believe there are other cases that have not presented at the hospital.

Measles case on Fiji to Auckland flight

 ARPHS Medical Officer of Health Dr Maria Poynter says people who may have been exposed on this flight should be vigilant for symptoms of the highly infectious disease.

 The flight departed Nadi, Fiji on Air New Zealand flight NZ 53 at 2.00 pm on Friday 22 November, landing at 5.10 pm in Auckland on the same day.