10-month-old baby latest to contract measles

January 10, 2020 6:42 am

There are now 28 confirmed cases of measles.

The latest confirmed case is a 10-month-old from Toorak in Suva who is currently under home isolation.

The Suva Subdivisional Outbreak Response Team has carried out the necessary interventions including quarantine and vaccination of contacts as appropriate.

Article continues after advertisement

The 3-month-old baby reported in the previous updates is still admitted at CWM Hospital.

All other confirmed cases have recovered or are recovering well under home isolation.

All 28 cases are from the following areas in the Central Division:

• 12 cases from the Serua/Namosi Subdivision (Wailali, Wainadoi, Navunikabi, and Makosoi Deuba)

• 9 cases from Suva Subdivision (Toorak, Nabua, Samabula, Vatuwaqa, Sakoca in Tacirua, Wailekutu and Naikorokoro Village in Lami).

• 3 cases from Rewa Subdivision (Koronivia, Nasilai Village Nakelo, Davuilevu).

• 4 cases from Naitasiri Subdivision (Saumakia Village)

The Ministry of Health is lifting the mass gatherings advisory that has been in place during this measles outbreak.

This is after consideration of the following by the National Measles Taskforce:

– Since the outbreak was declared on Thursday 7 November 2019, around 459,000 people in Fiji have been immunised against measles. The national measles vaccination coverage for 6 month – 5-year-olds is at 95.3% and 91% for 19-39-year-olds.

– Central Division (where all cases to date are from) reached the goal of at least 95% measles vaccination coverage for the 6 month – 5-year-old and 19-39 target groups as of December 24th last year.
– Western, Northern, and Eastern Divisions are close to achieving at least 95% coverage for the target groups in their respective divisions – and are expected to reach the goal within the next 1-2 weeks.
– While new cases continue to be reported in the Central Division, the number of new cases per week has decreased.

While the advisory against mass gatherings has been lifted the public is urged to continue to take the following precautions:

– If you or a loved one are in a measles vaccination target group and have not been vaccinated during this campaign please do get vaccinated now.

– Avoid non-essential travel to the outbreak areas of Sakoca in Tacirua, Naikorokoro Village in Lami, Saumakia Village in Naitasiri, Nasilai Village in Nakelo, and Serua/Namosi.

– If you are holding an event or gathering with international visitors, or participants from an outbreak area, please strongly encourage them to get vaccinated against measles at least two weeks before travel.

This especially applies to visitors travelling from other countries with measles outbreaks i.e. New Zealand, Samoa, Tonga, American Samoa, Kiribati, and Papua New Guinea.

Vaccination for the target groups will still be offered at health centres in the Central Division.

The Western, Northern, and Eastern Divisions will continue to focus on reaching people through house-to-house visits and at health centres, with the aim of vaccinating at least 95% of people in the target groups.

The Ministry of Health and Medical Services is also in discussion with the Ministry of Education to have measles vaccine available on-campus for unvaccinated students returning for the academic year at tertiary institutions.

The national Measles campaign is targeting people who are most at risk of being infected by measles and spreading the disease:
• All children aged 6 months to 5 years regardless of prior vaccination history

• All people born between 1980 and 2000 (19 to 39-year olds who should have ID available if asked)

• Any child who has not received 2 doses of a measles vaccine according to the national immunisation schedule

• Any child aged 12 and 18 months in Fiji who are due their routine measles immunisation according to the national immunisation schedule

• Any person travelling overseas (with evidence of travel i.e. a travel itinerary or ticket)

• All health care workers

• All airport and port-of-entry workers, and hotel staff

The only exceptions to those in the above groups are pregnant women, children under the age of 6 months, those with compromised immune systems (including those on immunosuppressive medication/treatment), and those with a known allergy to the vaccine.

These people should not be vaccinated.