A nationwide alert has been sounded and vaccines against the viral disease are being sent to the affected areas. Growing public outcry over those companies' inaction in response to the spread of misinformation led both Facebook and YouTube to announce concrete steps to address the problem in recent weeks. Around one-fifth of the individuals living in the affected region of Canterbury are unvaccinated.
"It can now be assumed that measles is circulating widely in our community", said Dr Ramon Pink, Canterbury Medical Officer of Health.
Pharmacists can also immunize adults and children over five years old.
The demand for vaccines have been high and work towards the prevention of measles has been "intensified".
It's a troublesome trend as measles is a highly contagious respiratory illness that is spread by contact with an infected person who is coughing and sneezing. There is a lot more information available to people through social media.
"If parents are aware that their child is overdue for any of their vaccinations it is a timely reminder to make arrangements for their vaccinations to be kept up to date".
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"Immunisation is the only sure way to avoid getting measles".
"Given their higher risk, our focus over the short term is to provide MMR immunisations to those under 29 years who are not fully vaccinated".
Measles is so contagious that if someone has it, 90 percent of the people around that person who are not immune will become infected.
Current Situation Between 1 January and 7 March 2019, 18,553 measles cases including 286 deaths were officially reported through the routine surveillance system from the Philippines Department of Health (DoH): a 384%% increase with the same time period in 2018 (see Table 1). Further supplies of the vaccine will follow, Clark said in a statement.
While there have been no confirmed cases of measles in South Canterbury, doctors and nurses have been dealing with an increasing number of concerned people as the virus continues to spread through Canterbury.