21 Aug 2019

New Zealand on brink of losing its measle-free status

From First Up, 5:46 am on 21 August 2019

A vaccine expert says the government needs to act now to stop New Zealand losing its measles-free status. According to the World Health Organisation New Zealand eliminated measles in 2017. That status doesn't mean there won't be any cases of measles within the country - but that each strain or outbreak of the disease is eradicated within a 12 month period. In the past week 100 more cases have been diagnosed and Middlemore Hospital's been forced to establish a dedicated measles ward to deal with the three children being admitted each day. Vaccinologist Dr Helen Petousis Harris says New Zealand has until March 2020 to stop this current outbreak before it loses its measles-free status.