6 new cases of measles have been identified in Fiji.
2 cases are in Labasa, 3 in Rewa and one case is in Nasinu.
The Ministry of Health has initiated an immediate containment response, which includes the management and isolation of confirmed cases, home quarantine of immediate family members and contact tracing.
The Ministry says they have also put in place a plan of action for the respective medical sub-divisions.
They say they are also immediately embarking on a supplementary immunisation campaign to protect high-risk groups who may not have immunity to measles and stop the outbreak from spreading beyond the current subdivisions.
The Ministry says all children aged 6 months to 11 years for the Rewa, Macuata, Suva and Nasinu Medical Sub-Divisions will receive one dose of the measles vaccine.
They add all children around Fiji who have turned 1, and those in year 6 and are yet to receive their measles vaccine are encouraged to turn up to the nearest health facility for their vaccination.
The Ministry says they will continue to evaluate the target age group for the measles vaccination, depending on new cases confirmed and their age groups.
The signs and symptoms of measles are high fever which begins about 10 to 12 days after exposure to the virus lasting 4 to 7 days, runny nose, cough, red and watery eyes, small white spots inside the cheeks in the initial stage.
After several days a rash erupts usually on the face and upper neck, within 3 days it spreads reaching the hands and feet lasting for 5 to 6 days.
Any individual presenting the signs and symptoms is requested to wear a mask, avoid contact with others and visit their nearest health centre for immediate attention and treatment.
Measles is a highly infectious airborne viral disease that spreads easily through the air through breathing, coughing and sneezing.
You are at risk of getting measles if you breathe the same air as someone with the disease and you are not immune.
You are not immune if you have not been vaccinated, or you have never had the disease.
There is no specific treatment for measles, as it is your body’s immune system that fights off the disease.
Most people recover from a measles infection in 8-10 days with rest, and ensuring that they are eating and drinking to avoid dehydration.
Some people infected with measles develop severe complications such as pneumonia (infection of the lungs) or encephalitis (swelling of the brain).
These people require hospitalization.
Any unvaccinated person is at risk of severe complications.
Children under the age of five, babies younger than one year old, pregnant women, and those with compromised immune systems are most at risk of complications.
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