Measles outbreak in New Zealand’s Canterbury widens to 20

Measles outbreak in New Zealand's Canterbury widens to 20

An outbreak of measles in New Zealand's South Island has continued to spread as health authorities order emergency supplies of vaccines.

Canterbury District Health Board has reported 25 confirmed cases of the highly infectious disease - and the number is likely to rise.

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

The advent of anti-vaxxer groups (people who choose not to vaccinate themselves or their children against vaccine-preventable infections), has resulted in a number of sporadic outbreaks of measles across developed nations around the world.

One child with measles walking through a school will pretty much infect every other susceptible person in that school.

Denton County confirmed a patient with measles in February.

Health officials say if you got the measles vaccine when you were a child it should be effective for your whole life unless you are exposed to those who have measles and then you may need a booster shot. The majority of measles cases are male (53%).

There have been 11 reports of measles across Texas this year. People are considered immune if they have received two doses of the MMR vaccine, have had a measles illness previously, or were born before 1969.

"We're not sure how many vaccines we can get so we're keeping them for the babies at this stage", McSherry said. In 2015, for instance, there were 154 cases in the first two months of the year followed by just 34 for the remainder of the year, putting it at right about average relative to the past decade's annual totals. Mann says Measles can spread rapidly - and the initial symptoms of the disease can be a bit vague.

The highly contagious disease can spread through coughing and sneezing, and the virus can live for up to two hours in the air or on a surface. That move followed congressional testimony from Ethan Lindenberger, a high school senior who described how his mother got anti-vaccine information nearly exclusively from Facebook.

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