Auckland, New Zealand, hit by second outbreak of measles

Seventeen people in Auckland, New Zealand, have recently been confirmed as having the measles in what appears to be the second large outbreak in the city this year.

Auckland Regional Public Health Service medical officer Richard Hoskins said that all of the cases have been linked to a primary school in the city, according to Stuff.co.nz. Three people have required hospitalization and almost all of those who came down with the illness were not immunized.

ARPHS is currently attempting to find others who may have been exposed. They have identified at least 200 individuals, as well as several large groups, including schools. Some of the exposed have been instructed to quarantine themselves in their homes to prevent further infections.

"Measles must be taken very seriously, especially as we are seeing an increase in the number of cases presenting, Dr. Hoskins said, Stuff.co.nz reports. “It is a disease that can have severe complications, especially in vulnerable groups in the community, including children too young to be immunized, pregnant women, and those with suppressed immunity.”

Hoskins also urged people to have their children immunized against the measles with the MMR vaccine.

"Immunization not only protects your child from serious illness, but also protects more vulnerable children and members of the community who could suffer more serious illness or death," Hoskins said, according to Stuff.co.nz.