Published: Thu, March 14, 2019
Health Care | By Oscar Goodwin

Travel advisory issued for Japan over measles outbreak

Travel advisory issued for Japan over measles outbreak

Measles is a highly contagious viral disease that can cause complications including blindness and brain swelling and increase susceptibility to other diseases.

"The number of confirmed cases.is likely to rise further over the coming days and weeks", Canterbury's District Health Board said.

Measles outbreaks in the United States, triggered when unvaccinated people travel here from other countries, are ongoing in New York, Washington, and Texas.

Priority groups for the vaccine were children and young adults (5 to 28 years old) who were not immunised or had only received one MMR dose to date, children 12 months to 5 years who have never received any doses of MMR, and adults aged 29-50 years as this group only received one dose of measles vaccine.

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"Unimmunized people who come within two meters of an infectious person, however briefly, have a 90 percent chance of contracting measles", the board said.

Jefferson County residents are expressing concerns about vaccinations now that a confirmed case of measles has been reported in the county.

For every 1,000 children who get measles, one or two will die.

Health officials say if you got the measles vaccine when you were a child it should be effective for your whole life unless you are exposed to those who have measles and then you may need a booster shot.

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Timely measles and rubella surveillance is critical to disease control.

She said there were no reports of measles in South Canterbury, but if people suspected they were infected they must take immediate precautions. In 2015, for instance, there were 154 cases in the first two months of the year followed by just 34 for the remainder of the year, putting it at right about average relative to the past decade's annual totals.

The MMR vaccine which immunizes against measles is still available at a number of locations in Vancouver, including community health centres, walk-in clinics, and family doctors' offices.

Measles is a serious rash illness and can usually include high fever, cough, runny nose, and red watery eyes.

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