The measles outbreak that started in early July in in Honiara, Solomon Islands, has grown to at least 550 cases, the Solomon Islands Health Ministry said recently.


In a Radio New Zealand report today, the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Dr Lester Ross, says it’s likely there are thousands more cases that haven’t yet been reported. At least two children have died from complications to measles.

A measles mass vaccination campaign will target all people aged from 6 months to 30 years of age, the report states. The outbreak has spread past Honiara as cases are now being reported in Malaita, Guadalcanal, Isabel, Western province, Temotu, and Renbel.

Measles or rubeola, is an acute highly communicable viral disease that is characterized by Koplik spots in the cheek or tongue very early in the disease. A couple of days later a red blotchy rash appears first on the face, and then spreads, lasting 4-7 days. Other symptoms include fever, cough and red watery eyes. The patient may be contagious from four days prior to the rash appearance to four days after rash appearance.

The disease is more severe in infants and adults. Complications from measles which is reported in up to 20% of people infected include; seizures, pneumonia, deafness and encephalitis. For more infectious disease news and information, visit and “like” the Infectious Disease News Facebook page