Ministry health

The Fiji Times » Measles alert – Ministry launches immediate containment response

The Department of Health and Medical Services has identified six cases of measles.

The ministry therefore advises people who show the signs and symptoms of measles to wear a mask, avoid contact with others and go to the nearest health center for immediate attention and treatment.

In a statement, the ministry said that out of the six cases detected, two were detected in Labasa, three in Rewa and one case in Nasinu.

The ministry said it launched an immediate containment response that included management and isolation of confirmed cases, home quarantine of immediate family members and contact tracing. The ministry has also put in place an action plan for the respective medical subdivisions.

“Measles is a highly contagious airborne viral disease that is easily spread through the air through breathing, coughing and sneezing,” the ministry said.

“The signs and symptoms of measles are a high fever that begins about 10 to 12 days after exposure to the virus for four to seven days, a runny nose, cough, red and watery eyes, small white spots on the inside of the cheeks at the initial stage.

“After several days, a rash usually appears on the face and upper neck. In three days it spreads to the hands and feet and lasts five to six days.

“After several days, a rash usually appears on the face and upper neck, in three days it spreads to the hands and feet for five to six days.”

“You are at risk of getting measles if you breathe the same air as someone who has the disease and you are not immune if you have not been vaccinated or have never had the disease.”

The ministry said that due to an effective immunization program, measles is rare in Fiji, however, routine childhood immunization coverage was expected to have dropped due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as it had done in many other countries, which increased the risk of epidemics.