Auckland measles cases should be a warning, expert says

University of Auckland’s Immunisation Advisory Centre medical director Dr Nikki Turner said child immunisation rates in areas like south Auckland remain in a state of crisis an outbreak could have dire consequences.

“Measles can spread like wildfire,” Turner said. “You only get immunity to it through vaccination, or if you’ve previously contracted it.”

“The problem is our childhood vaccination rates have dropped and a lot of other people didn’t receive their vaccinations when they were younger. So there are some real gaps in the community.”

American Samoa confirms a case of measles

The territory's Department of Health (DOH) said samples from the child, who was seen at a community centre with symptoms on 27 March, were sent for testing in California and returned positive.

Day cares are now closed to protect babies from being exposed to the virus, as infants under six months are not eligible for the Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccine.

RNZ Pacific reports Kanana Fou Elementary School in Tafuna, where the girl attends, has also been closed.

Samoa's health chief downplays possibility of measles outbreak

In the last three weeks, several children suspected to have measles have been under observation.

But Aiono Dr Alec Ekeroma said all blood tests that have returned from New Zealand have come back negative.

The health ministry is awaiting on the remainder of those results but Dr Ekeroma expects the lastest cases will also prove to be negative on the basis that more children would have presented to the emergency department with symptoms.

Aiono said the 2019 outbreak that killed 83 people was off the back of an outbreak in Auckland.

Samoa records two new cases of measles

But the initial suspected case has been ruled out after tests were returned from New Zealand.

Government newspaper Savali reported the Health Ministry is maintaining its strict surveillance and monitoring duties for a potential outbreak of measles in the wake of alerts from New Zealand and Australia.

During the 2019 measles outbreak 83 lives were lost, mostly young children.

Baby with suspected case of measles discharged

This was confirmed by the Director General of Health, Aiono Dr. Alec Ekeroma.

According to Aiono, the baby was discharged two days later after admission.

Samples have been sent to New Zealand for testing to confirm if it is measles with the results expected next week.

Furthermore, the Health Director urged all mothers with babies 9-months-old to have the Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR1) vaccination and babies that are 15 months to have MMR2.

Samoa authorities encourage child immunisation for measles, mumps and rubella

The Ministry said there are still a significant number of children under five who have not yet completed their scheduled immunisations, especially the MMR shot, mostly from the Apia and north-west areas.

RNZ Pacific reports in 2019, the measles epidemic killed 83 people in Samoa, mostly children.

The Ministry said this is especially important as measles has recently been reported in Auckland and in Australia.


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Measles warning for NZ flight passengers after case discovered

Health agencies are asking anyone on an international flight ETD426/EY462 from Abu Dhabi to Melbourne arriving at 6am on 28 January and who then flew on to New Zealand to please contact Healthline if they have not already been contacted by health officials.

RNZ reports a case of measles in a person who is in Australia has been linked to the flight.

The Ministry of Health - Manatū Hauora and Health New Zealand - Te Whatu Ora say there are no reported cases of measles in New Zealand.

Fiji records Measles and Enteroviruses cases

These diseases is caused by a family of viruses called enteroviruses.

Permanent Secretary Doctor James Fong says the disease can be mistaken for what many have read about monkeypox.

Thus, he said the ministry was yet to diagnose a case of monkeypox.

Fong says Fiji is in the middle of its chickenpox season, and measles cases have also been noted.

FBC reports the PS says the ministry has released a number of health advisories and guidelines to all clinicians in the public and private sectors in order to facilitate early case identification and reporting.

Samoa's Director of Health issues warning to parents

TV1Samoa reports Leausa Dr Take Naseri gave the warning during the weekly Ministry of Health educational programme.

Leausa said the Ministry was concerned people are focused on Covid-19 and neglecting other necessary vaccinations for children that were available at hospitals around the country.


Photo file  Caption:  Samoa Director of Health, Leausa Dr Take Naseri 


Fijian midwife reflects on supporting Samoa during measles epidemic

With the International Midwives Day and International Nurses Day celebrated this week, Kelera Rabuka says she is proud of the group's achievements.

Ms Rabuka said in a day, they would help with around 12 deliveries per shift at Samoa's national and

district hospitals.

"For me being at home for almost a year without a job and to go back and give back to the community that was rewarding," she said.

Kelera Rabuka said that for her and others in the group the 10-week experience has left a lasting impression on them.