Fiji health officials have initiated an immediate containment response after six cases of measles (Labasa-2, Rewa-3 and Nasinu-1) were identified in the country, according to a Fiji Times report Saturday.
This includes the management and isolation of confirmed cases, home quarantine of immediate family members and contact tracing.
A supplementary immunization campaign will begin immediately for the followin groups:
- All children aged 6 months to 11 years for the Rewa, Macuata, Suva and Nasinu Medical Sub-Divisions will receive one dose of the measles vaccine.
- All children around Fiji who have turned 1, and those in year 6 and are yet to receive their measles vaccine are encouraged to turn up to the nearest health facility for their vaccination.
- The Ministry will continue to evaluate the target age group for the measles vaccination, depending on new cases confirmed and their age groups.
Measles is a very contagious disease caused by a virus. It spreads through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes. In fact, the measles virus can stay in the air for up to two hours after an infected person was there. People may be infected by simply being in a room where an infected person once was. It is so contagious that if one person has it, up to 90% of the people around him or her will also become infected if they are not protected.
Measles can be prevented with the MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine. The vaccine is safe and effective. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends children receive their first dose of MMR vaccine between 12-15 months of age and a second dose between 4-6 years old. More than 95% of the people who receive a single dose of MMR will develop immunity to all three viruses. A second dose boosts immunity, typically enhancing protection to 98%.
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