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Call for returning seasonal workers to be vaccinated against measles

December 11, 2019 12:24 pm

Seasonal workers returning home to Samoa for Christmas should be given the measles vaccine before they go, says a doctor leading New Zealand’s medical response to the epidemic in Samoa.

Hawke’s Bay’s Alan Wright is the clinical team leader for the New Zealand Medical Assistance Team ‘Bravo’, the second rotation to help in Samoa with the outbreak.

He’s running the response at Leu-lu-moe-ga District Hospital, with all other patients diverted for treatment to a smaller clinic near Faleolo Airport on Upolu.

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Dr Wright said he knew of workers preparing to leave New Zealand’s Hawke’s Bay, who were unvaccinated.

Dr Wright said Samoa’s measles epidemic was a lesson for doctors to keep promoting the importance of getting vaccinated.
As of Tuesday evening, the death toll from the measles outbreak remains at 70 after no new fatalities were recorded on Monday.

It was the first day in two weeks that no new deaths have been reported.

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