New Zealand’s worrying Measles outbreak is continuing, with a further 20 cases confirmed over the last fortnight.
The outbreak has seen the total number of cases diagnosed so far in 2019 reach 135, with 95% of children under the age of 10 with the condition believed to be unvaccinated.
The figures across the board for those who were unvaccinated were damning, with just three of the 71 under-19s hospitalised with the condition vaccinated, and a overall figures showing that 86% of cases involved those who had not had the MMR vaccination.
A highly infectious viral illness, Measles has largely been eradicated in most Western countries due to the ready availability of the vaccine - with only a small number of cases occurring each year. Unpleasant cold-like symptoms such as sore eyes and a high temperature are common - however young children, teenagers and those with a weakened immune system can find themselves at risk of far more serious complications.
New Zealand’s quickly rising figures have brought about concerns that the disease could become established in the country for the first time since 2012.
That has lead to some powerful words from Education Minister Chris Hipkins, who said: “I don't believe that kids should be denied their right to an education, particularly if it's a conscious choice by their parents not to immunise. Those kids are the ones who most deserve to learn about science.
“Children shouldn't be excluded from their education because their parents are pro-plague.”
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