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September 23, 2019

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New Zealand measles alert

NEW Zealand is asking travelers to make sure they are immunized for measles before traveling to its biggest city, Auckland, as the country faces its worst outbreak in more than 22 years.

“If you’re thinking of traveling into or out of Auckland, you should make sure you’re vaccinated at least two weeks before you go,” Associate Minister for Health Julie Anne Genter said. “This includes children from 12 months old.”

Measles cases are rising globally.

In the US more than 1,200 cases have been recorded across 30 states in the worst outbreak since 1992, while other countries like the UK and Germany also recorded higher number of cases this year.

In New Zealand, 849 cases of measles have been reported so far this year, making it New Zealand’s worst measles epidemic since 1997.

Of these, 731 cases are in Auckland, and almost a third of those came in the last two weeks as the outbreak accelerated. The spread of the disease outside Auckland has been limited.

“New Zealand’s measles outbreaks are reflective of what’s happening internationally,” said Genter. “There are significant outbreaks occurring worldwide and cases from these countries are coming into Aotearoa.”

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern urged anyone who had not been immunized against measles to get vaccinated.


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