By Robert Herriman  @infectiousdiseasenews

According to the Ministry of Health for the Government of Tonga, the island nation closed out 2019 with 612 measles confirmed or suspected cases. This is up 16 cases since the last report.


The majority 534 (87.2%) cases have occurred on Tongatapu and 66 (10.7%) have occurred on Vava’u Island. Case presentations have been reported to be mild with 18 hospitalizations and no death.

An inter-disciplinary Ministry of Health Epidemic Task Force usually meets weekly to advise on management of the outbreak. In addition to routine outbreak response activities, a time-limited vaccination program targeting secondary school students and 6-11 months infants was initiated and completed. Mass Vaccination campaign targeting the 10-24-year-old age group not picked up in the school vaccination program was completed throughout Tonga on Friday 20 December 2019.

A grand total of at least 27,691 persons have been vaccinated through 31 December 2019.