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Measles Outbreaks in Pacific Countries

19 Nov 2019

According to media a measles outbreak in Samoa has now been declared an emergency. Schools have been closed and compulsory mass vaccination has been ordered. Over 700 cases have been reported, including 15 deaths.

The outbreak is believed to have started in New Zealand, where there have been more than 2 000 measles cases. Other Pacific countries currently affected by measles outbreaks include Australia, Fiji, Tonga and American Samoa.

Advice for Travellers

Travel may increase an individual’s risk of exposure to measles virus, and facilitate the spread of disease to unvaccinated and susceptible populations. Two doses of MMR vaccine, at least one month apart, are required to give adequate protection from measles.

It should be confirmed that children have received their recommended doses of MMR at 12-13 months of age and again pre-school around 3 years 4 months. Unvaccinated adults who have not had measles themselves should seek advice from a healthcare professional regarding measles vaccination.

For further information see Measles.