By NewsDesk   @bactiman63

The Tonga Ministry of Health reported an additional 18 new measles cases with onset dates in the last week, bringing the outbreak total to 596 confirmed or suspected cases of measles.

Image/Jim Goodson, M.P.H.

The latest cases include 16 cases from the main Island of Tongatapu and 2 cases from Vava’u Island.

In total, the majority 523 (87.8%) cases in total have occurred on Tongatapu and 63 (10.5%) have occurred on Vava’u Island. Cases have been reported to be mild with 15 hospitalizations with no deaths.

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The outbreak of measles in Tonga began in early October 2019, following the return of a team of Tongan rugby players from New Zealand. The index case developed measles while in New Zealand. Subsequently, a further 12 players developed laboratory-confirmed measles after returning to Tonga. The early outbreak involved mainly teenagers from schools on Tongatapu and Vava’u Islands.

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