Since the last update on November 15th 2019 there are now 7 confirmed cases of measles from Serua/Namosi Subdivision.
The latest confirmed cases are a 7 month old from Wainadoi, a 3 month old from Wainadoi, and a 19 year old from Navunikabi in Namosi.
There are 2 more suspected cases in Navunikabi Namosi. The 7 month old and 3 month old babies are currently admitted under isolation at Navua hospital.
The Serua/Namosi Outbreak Response Team has implemented response measures – including isolation of the cases, quarantine and vaccination of contacts and at risk communities.
On the evening of Sunday November 17th the Ministry of Health and Medical Services was notified of a suspected case of measles within the Tongan team that had just arrived to play in the Oceania Women’s Championship. In response, the suspected case has been isolated and the Tongan team placed under quarantine – their scheduled games have been cancelled pending testing results.
The Ministry of Health and Medical Services wishes to re-emphasize that, to control this outbreak, it is important that we protect those at the highest risk of catching and spreading the disease first. Current vaccination stocks are not unlimited and should be used for our most vulnerable groups who are most likely to catch and spread the disease.
This will help protect everyone else, especially those that cannot get the vaccine – like babies under the age of 6 months. Replacement vaccine stocks are on their way to cover more people. In the meantime the public is asked for patience and to allow high-risk groups to be vaccinated first.
The free measles vaccine is currently limited to 4 groups who are at most at risk of contracting measles, and these are:
- Any child in Fiji who has not received 2 doses of measles vaccine. If you’re unsure visit your nearest health centre with your child’s health record for it to be checked by a health care worker. They will be immunised on the spot if needed.
- Anyone who resides in Serua/Namosi and is over 6 months of age is urgently advised to receive a dose of the measles vaccine regardless of prior vaccination status if they have not done so already.
- Anyone who intends on travelling into Serua/Namosi is urged to get vaccinated at least 2 weeks before travel. The vaccine is available from any health centre in Fiji.
- Anyone who intends to travel overseas and is over 6 months of age is advised to get a measles vaccine prior to travel from their nearest health centre.
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.