Two new measles cases reported
November 21, 2019 7:45 am
Two new measles cases have been reported in the Serua/Namosi Subdivision bringing the total confirmed cases to nine.
The latest confirmed cases are a 15-year-old from Wainadoi, and a two-year-old who had been staying in Waibogi, Serua.
The Health Ministry says the two-year-old returned home to Koronivia on Monday and is currently admitted under isolation at the CWM Hospital in Suva.
The respective outbreak response teams are responding to the notification of the new cases, which includes vaccination and quarantine of contacts if needed.
Health Minister, Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete is urging employers to provide their support to the control of this outbreak by not penalizing employees who are placed under quarantine and subsequently are unable to work.
“This is going to be something that we will have to face as a nation for the next three to six months. Remember in Samoa it’s been going on for a few months now and it’s not going to fizzle away in the next day or two so we have to have a heightened sense of alert. As the Ministry of Health, we take it very seriously.”
Quarantine is needed to protect others from getting the disease and employees must be allowed to comply with quarantine without fear for the loss of income or employment.
The Ministry says those under quarantine will be provided with the appropriate medical certification for the quarantine period.
Dr Waqainabete stresses that the measles vaccine is in limited supply and therefore the public is being informed that there is an interim shortage of the vaccine.
He says, for this reason, the remaining measles vaccine stock will be prioritized to those who are at the greatest risk of catching and spreading measles and it is not available for the general public until additional stocks arrive in the coming days.