TUESDAY, JUNE 19, 2018

Officials optimistic that New Zealand measles outbreak is over

Public health officials in Auckland, New Zealand, are cautiously optimistic that an outbreak of measles in the region has been contained.

There have been 111 confirmed cases of measles infection in the area of the outbreak, which includes the Auckland and Waikato districts, according to TVNZ.co.nz.

Dr. Richard Hoskins, the medical officer of health from Auckland's Regional Public Health, said that the outbreak was infecting 10 to 14 new people every week. That rate dropped to seven in the past two weeks. Hoskins said it will take four weeks with no new cases before the outbreak is officially considered over.

“Although the number of new cases has been lower for the last two weeks this does not necessarily indicate the outbreak is nearly over,” Hoskins said, Auckland.Scoop.co.nz reports. “Though we are cautiously optimistic that the worst of the outbreak may be over, it’s not yet time to stop being suspicious about new cases or to relax with ensuring on-time immunization.”

The New Zealand Ministry of Health recently reported an increase in the demand for the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine across the country.

“The Ministry of Health is closely monitoring the situation to ensure there is sufficient vaccine supply to meet demand," David Wansbrough, the ministry’s immunizations manager, said, TVNZ.co.nz reports “If we could reach the national target of 95 percent, for on time immunization of children at 15 months and four years, then this sort of outbreak would have very little chance of reoccurring or going on for as long."