PUBLIC ADVISORY: MEASLES ALERT
Last Updated on 4 years by Publishing Team
The Fijian Ministry of Health and Medical Services is alerting passengers on flights from Auckland to Nadi, and Nadi to Los Angeles, on Tuesday July 23rd that they may have been exposed to measles. A New Zealand citizen tested positive for measles in the United States and is known to have traveled on those flights during the infective period.
The flight details:
FJ 410 from Auckland to Nadi (arrival in Nadi airport at 4.05pm)
FJ 810 from Nadi to Los Angeles (departed Nadi airport 9.40pm)
Passengers on these flights, and anyone in the Nadi Airport international transit and/or departure lounges from 4.05pm to 11.40pm on Tuesday July 23rd, should watch for signs of measles.
Fever, runny nose, cough, sore and red eyes. A rash starts a few days after these symptoms and spreads all over the body.
If you were on one of those flights, or you were in the Nadi Airport international transit or departure lounges between 4.05pm and 11.40 pm on July 23rd, please call:
9970114 or 9311529
If you do develop symptoms, please contact one of the above numbers immediately and avoid public areas.
The Ministry is also advising that there are measles outbreaks in New Zealand, including in Auckland and Wellington. All international travellers are urged to ensure they are up to date with their measles vaccinations. If you are planning international travel and have not been vaccinated, or are unsure of your vaccination status, measles vaccine is available free of charge at your nearest Ministry of Health and Medical Services health centre.
Measles is a highly infectious airborne viral disease that is spread by coughing and sneezing. You are at risk of getting measles if you are not immune i.e. if you have not been vaccinated, or you have never had the disease.
Symptoms of measles include: Fever, runny nose, cough, sore and red eyes. A rash starts a few days after these symptoms and spreads all over the body.
There is no specific treatment for measles, as it is your body’s immune system that fights off the disease. Most people recover from a measles infection in 8-10 days with rest, and ensuring that they are eating and drinking to avoid dehydration.
However, some people infected with measles develop severe complications such as pneumonia (infection of the lungs) or encephalitis (brain swelling). These people require hospitalization. Children under the age of 5, babies younger than 1 year old, pregnant women, adults over the age of 20, and those with compromised immune systems are most at risk of complications.
An effective vaccine exists for measles. Since 2003, all children in Fiji are offered 2 doses of the combination measles-rubella vaccine: first when they are 1 year old and the 2nd at school entry. Fiji’s immunization coverage for children is reported at 95% – which is good. The Ministry also conducted a supplemental campaign in 2017 for all 1 to 10 year olds.
Measles in Fiji
Because we have an effective immunization program, measles is rare in Fiji. Our last outbreak was in 2006, and there have been 0 cases reported for years since. However, outbreaks around the world, including in neighboring countries, puts Fiji at risk of having travel related cases