New Zealand doctors move clinics outside in bid to stop measles' spread

Alicia Farmer
March 14, 2019

Panic is setting in over the Canterbury measles outbreak as more cases of the untreatable disease emerge.

Immunisation Advisory Centre research director Helen Petousis-Harris said it was a huge undertaking for clinics to be assessing potential cases of measles, while vaccinating hundreds of people.

While children in OH schools are "required" to get vaccinations, the state is one of just 17 where law allows both "philosophical" and religious exceptions, allowing parents to opt out of vaccinations for their children.

However, despite the risks, there is a growing anti-vaccine sentiment in the United States and around the world.

"It's not the low rates of vaccination, it's the fact that measles is such a contagious virus - it's the most contagious virus known to human-kind". Doctors say a person can catch it simply by walking into a room an infected person had been in two hours before.

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Another one or two out of 1,000 people with measles will die, even with medical treatment. Under-vaccinated communities can be at risk of an outbreak when someone contracts the virus while traveling and returns home.

Public Health has also deactivated the measles call center.

If you are unsure of your family's immunization status, you can view, download and print your family's immunization information online atMyIR or request a copy of your immunization record from theWashington State Department of Health. Clark County Public Health does not provide immunizations or testing for immunity. It took some time for health researchers to discover this, so countries like New Zealand that were early to introduce the vaccines are more likely to have cohorts of older people that are not completely protected.

Children and young adults (age range 5 years to 28 years) who are either not immunised or who have only received one MMR dose to date.

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