Fiji Measles Outbreak Spreads to Pacific Islands – Vax Before Travel

(Vax before the trip)

The ongoing measles outbreak in Fiji has recently spread to other South Pacific islands. On July 4, 2022, the Solomon Islands Ministry of Health and Medical Services issued a measles health alert.

Measles vaccination coverage across the Solomon Islands is currently around 40%, well below the minimum level suggested by the WHO.

There is no specific treatment for measles, but it can be prevented with safe vaccines approved by the US FDA.

“Parents and guardians are therefore urged to review the immunization status of their children…and to be vaccinated against measles and rubella if necessary.”

“Measles is a highly contagious, serious, airborne disease caused by a virus that is spread through the air and through direct contact. The virus infects the respiratory tract and spreads throughout the body.

Previously, the Fiji Ministry of Health and Medical Services launched an immediate containment response on July 2, 2022, after six cases of measles were identified.

Local media reported two cases of measles in Labasa, three in Rewa and one in Nasinu.

In response, the Fijian ministry immediately launched a supplemental vaccination campaign for people who were under-immunized against measles.

The Department of Health and Medical Services provides free measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccines to children over the age of one.

This new outbreak indicates that Fiji’s persistent measles challenge may have become “endemic”.

In November 2019, a measles outbreak was declared, with approximately 30 cases centered in Serua/Namosi provinces.

In January 2020, this measles outbreak was declared over, with approximately 328,000 people in Fiji vaccinated against measles.

As of July 10, 2022, the US CDC has not issued a travel advisory regarding measles outbreaks in Fiji or the Solomon Islands.

However, the CDC suggests confirming your vaccination status with a certified travel vaccine provider at least one month before international travel.

In the United States, several measles vaccine options are available from most pharmacies.

Note: This information was manually selected for international travelers.


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