Published: Thu, March 14, 2019
Medicine | By Brett Sutton

Measles outbreak in New Zealand's Canterbury widens to 20

Measles outbreak in New Zealand's Canterbury widens to 20

A nationwide alert has been sounded and vaccines against the viral disease are being sent to the affected areas.

Schroeder says hopefully there will be more vaccinations tomorrow. That move followed congressional testimony from Ethan Lindenberger, a high school senior who described how his mother got anti-vaccine information nearly exclusively from Facebook.

"I say to every mom that I see, that vaccines are 95 percent (effective), but that still gives you a great deal of security", he said.

"Adults who had one vaccine dose are much less at risk than those who have never had any vaccines, but they are more at risk that people that have had two doses". The World Health Organization recently warned that anti-vaccination organizations are one of ten major global health threats this year. Those aged between 29 and 50 will only have had one measles vaccination and are not considered immune.

The latest outbreak came from people who were thought to be not fully immunised.

"The resurgence of measles is of serious concern, with extended outbreaks occurring across regions, and particularly in countries that had achieved, or were close to achieving measles elimination", said Dr Soumya Swaminathan, Deputy Director General for Programmes at WHO.

"The number of confirmed likely to rise further over the coming days and weeks", Canterbury's District Health Board said.

But the agency estimated that less than a tenth of the cases are reported to health authorities, and that the real number in 2018 exceeded two million. The cases have mainly been appearing among those who were born before 1969 and those who are not fully immunized.

The measles immunization rate for OH children ages 4 to 6 - children who have received the recommended two doses of MMR vaccine - is 92 percent, according to the Erie County Health Department statistics.

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