Measles outbreak over

by Mike Isle

Canterbury health authorities have today declared the measles outbreak that started in the region on February 16 officially over.

Canterbury medical officer of health Dr Ramon Pink says there have now been two full incubation periods since the last case was infectious.

“While it’s great we can declare Canterbury’s measles outbreak officially over, the reality is that measles is only a plane ride away,” says Dr Pink.

Dr Pink says that all of these cases have come from travellers bringing the disease from overseas.

“Measles is running rampant in several countries right now. The number of new cases worldwide rose by 300% during the first three months of 2019.

Measles is an ever-present threat, and the only way we can stop measles from returning is to increase immunity in our community.”

Dr Pink said vaccination is free for those under 50 who haven’t had two doses.

He says he is proud of the Canterbury health system’s response to the outbreak.

“I’d also like to acknowledge the support of the media to help us communicate these important messages about measles immunisation to the public.” There was a total of 38 confirmed measles cases in Canterbury linked to the outbreak.