SUNDAY, JUNE 24, 2018

New Zealand measles outbreak grows to 120

An outbreak of measles that has infected more than 120 people in the upper North Island of New Zealand is continuing to spread.
In Auckland, where the outbreak originated, there have been 109 confirmed cases. There have also been 19 confirmed cases and one suspected case in Waikato, including one that required hospitalization. Cases have also been reported in Northland and Taupo, the New Zealand Herald reports.
Dr. Anita Bell, New Zealand's medical officer of health, told the New Zealand Herald that of the 20 Waikato cases, 19 had not been immunized and one had received only one of the recommended two doses of the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine.
"This is a testament to the effectiveness of the MMR vaccine in protecting people who are fully immunized," Bell said, according to the New Zealand Herald. "Immunization is the only protection from this potentially serious disease. Immunization protects not only the individual, but also blocks the spread of this disease within our communities.''
The National Immunization Register showed that 90 percent of children received the first MMR dose but only 75 percent received both. Bell said that anyone displaying symptoms of measles, which include cough, fever, blocked nose and sore eyes, should immediately phone their doctor or Healthline.

There have also been two cases of rubella that were confirmed in the Auckland region.