By NewsDesk  @infectiousdiseasenews

The outbreak of measles in Tonga began in early October 2019, following the return of a squad of Tongan rugby players from New Zealand.


The Tonga Ministry of Health declared a measles outbreak on October 22. The last outbreak of measles in Tonga was in 2010.

In an update on the measles outbreak in Tonga, 84 additional confirmed or suspected measles cases were reported in the past week, bringing the total from 310 on November 19 to 394 cases on November 26.

344 (87%) of cases have occurred on the main island of Tongatapu, where the outbreak began. The smaller outbreak on Vava’u has a total of 44 (11%) cases. Additionally, 5 cases of rash illness have occurred in children on the island of ‘Eua, while a single case of rash illness has occurred in a child on the island of Ha’apai.

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Eight admissions to hospital have occurred among measles cases in this outbreak, with no deaths. The significant majority of cases have been managed in home isolation.

Vaccination efforts are targeting groups at greatest risk of measles infection, as well as those at greatest risk of severe illness.