New Zealand faces unsafe measles outbreak with 25 confirmed cases

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New Zealand faces unsafe measles outbreak with 25 confirmed cases

Health officials in Jefferson County are trying to find people who may have come in contact with a person there who has caught measles.

New Zealand's third-largest city, Christchurch and the areas around it are running short of vaccines, putting more and more children at risk, say officials.

Health Minister Dr David Clark said the number of measles cases was expected to rise and people needed to ensure their vaccinations were up to date. It is caused by a highly contagious virus that is spread through the air by breathing, coughing, or sneezing.

Janak Peris, 44, dairy worker: "Maybe teach the public to avoid the people who got it, and contain those who have it inside their houses".

"If you're going somewhere where there is a current measles outbreak, such as the Philippines, we do recommend that you go get vaccinated", said Akins. "Those aged between 29 and 50 will only have had one measles vaccination and are not considered immune".

Here, Art Reingold, professor and division head of epidemiology at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Public Health, talks about measles, vaccine safety, and the importance of immunizing kids.

The best protection is for people born after 1969 is to have had two MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccinations.

Babies whose mother is immune will have some protection if they are now being breastfed.

Colvin said about one in four people throughout the United States who get the measles will be hospitalized and one out of every 1,000 measles patients will develop brain swelling which could lead to brain damage.

"We have enough vaccine", said VCH spokesperson Tiffany Akins. The county health director says the department has identified everyone in the small group the infected person has come in contact with recently and is interviewing them about possible symptoms. If people call their GP team after hours follow the instructions to be put through to a nurse will answer the call and advise what to do and where to go if you need to be seen.

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