Since the last update on November 27th 2019 there are now 14 confirmed cases of measles. The latest confirmed case is a 36 year old from Makosoi, Deuba in Serua/Namosi.
As highlighted in previous advisories, the Ministry of Health and Medical Services is strongly advising against non-essential travel to Serua/Namosi. This includes, but is not limited to, the areas of Wainadoi, Nabukavesi, Namosi, Navua, and Deuba.
Measles is very contagious. To help stop the spread of the disease, the Ministry of Health and Medical Services also advises Fijians in the strongest possible terms, to take the following precautions:
- Avoid non-essential travel to Serua/Namosi. The Ministry of Health continues to hear about residents of Serua/Namosi planning for gatherings that will bring people from across the country and overseas. We advise in the strongest terms that until outbreak precautions are ceased in Serua/Namosi, all such gatherings should be deferred. This includes private celebrations such as weddings and family gatherings. If you need to travel to Serua/Namosi, please get vaccinated against measles at least two weeks before travel. Please avoid taking those that cannot get vaccinated (e.g. babies under the age of 6 months and pregnant women) to the outbreak area of Serua/Namosi.
- Avoid holding or attending large gatherings of people, especially in Central Division, but also those that bring participants from across the country or overseas (such as youth camps, religious gatherings, graduation ceremonies, sporting events, etc). Measles can spread very easily among large groups of people if they are not immune, who can then take the disease back into their communities.
- If you are holding an event with international visitors, or participants from an outbreak area, please strongly encourage them to get vaccinated against measles at least two (2) weeks before travel. This especially applies to visitors traveling from other countries with measles outbreaks i.e. New Zealand, Samoa and Tonga.
As mentioned in the past, the measles vaccine is currently in limited supply and therefore will be prioritized to those who are at the greatest risk of catching and spreading measles. This current restriction will change after new vaccine stock arrives later this week – when it will be made available to targeted groups published in the measles advisory.
Currently the free vaccine is only available to:
- Children as per the routine national immunization schedule (at 12 months and 18 months of age). This includes children who have not received those 2 doses of the vaccine as scheduled.
- The residents of Serua/Namosi
Contacts of a measles case will also continue to be vaccinated as determined by the respective outbreak response team.
The only exceptions to those in the above groups are pregnant women, those with compromised immune systems, and those with a known allergy to the vaccine. These people should not be vaccinated