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Mass gathering advisory in the best interest of all Fijians

December 10, 2019 12:51 pm
Health Minister, Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete says people can get the disease by being in the same room with an infected person.

Measles is so contagious that 9 out of 10 unimmunized people who come in contact with the virus will contract the disease.

Health Minister, Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete says people can get the disease by being in the same room with an infected person.

With Fiji now cancelling graduations, sporting tournaments and other social gatherings, the minister says the advisory is in the best interest of all Fijians.

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“We shouldn’t mess with the disease. Measles is highly contagious. It’s been said that one cough in a room from a person with measles has the ability to infect thirteen people. So you can imagine in a surrounding area where there are 250 people and somebody with measles comes and is looking for a chair to sit and coughs five times or twenty times then everybody is likely to be infected. And that’s why we’re advising against mass gatherings.”

Dr Waqainabete says unvaccinated young children are at highest risk of measles and its complications, including death.

“Remember the deaths for measles is predominately the young. It’s predominately children. So if an adult can pick up the measles virus and may not get sick and then gives it to their daughter or son who is a baby, they can potentially die.”

There are 18 confirmed cases of measles – the latest confirmed cases are a 3 month old from Wailali Settlement in Wainadoi and a 1 year 5-month-old from Wailekutu in Lami.

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