Measles outbreak in New Zealand's Canterbury widens to 20

Jefferson County reporting first case of measles

"Measles is one of the most infectious viruses on earth, and possibly the most contagious among people". There is no specific antiviral treatment or medicine for measles, but giving a person a vaccine soon after they've been infected may lessen symptoms.

With a median age of 2 years old, 56% of measles cases are under 5 years of age.

Some are utilizing the exemptions in Huron County, where the overall MMR vaccination rates for the locally documented incoming kindergartners is almost 7 percent lower than the state average.

For the 2018-2019, the Huron County Public Health (HCPH) school immunization report shows that Huron County had about 775 students enrolled in kindergarten.

Health officials in southwestern Washington are winding down their work on a recent measles outbreak.

By yesterday morning the number of confirmed cases had risen to 16, after a North Canterbury man in his 40s was confirmed to have the virus.

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In a statement, the Canterbury District of Health said "It can now be assumed that measles is circulating widely in our community".

The vaccination program would see 100,000 doses of the measles, mumps, rubella vaccine distributed for free, Canterbury Primary Response Group's Phil Schroeder told Radio New Zealand on Tuesday.

But the agency estimated that less than a tenth of the cases are reported to health authorities, and that the real number in 2018 exceeded two million.

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

Next week, an additional 18,000 vaccines will be delivered and there will be thousands more shipped in the following week. It might also lead to serious complications such as pneumonia and encephalitis (swelling of the brain).

The DHB says it's highly infectious - and anyone unvaccinated who's within two metres of someone with measles has a 90 percent chance of catching it.

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