Measles epidemic

Pacific migrant workers can now access measles vaccine in New Zealand

The Ministry of Health has amended laws barring non-residents from accessing vaccinations in a bid to curb the spread of measles among workers, Immigration New Zealand (INZ) said on Friday. It comes as the death toll from a measles epidemic in Samoa - currently at 79 - continues to rise.

The changes will mostly affect Samoans in or travelling to New Zealand under the Recognised Seasonal Employer scheme, which enables around 13,000 Pacific workers to visit New Zealand each year on temporary work permits.

Three more measles cases in Fiji

Health official Sunil Chandra said the latest cases were two teenagers and a child, who was admitted to the main hospital in Suva but has since been discharged.

Meanwhile, the Auckland Regional Public Health Service said there were measles affected travellers on a flight from Nadi to Auckland last Friday.

Air New Zealand flight NZ53 departed Nadi at 2pm on Friday 22 November.

Public health officer Dr Maria Poynter said passengers may have been exposed and should watch for symptoms.

Fiji confirms 7 measles cases

The latest cases include a seven-month-old, a three-month-old and a 19-year-old.

The two infants are currently in a hospital isolation ward.

The Outbreak Response Team is conducting measures such as isolation, quarantine and vaccination of contacts and at risk communities.

During the weekend, health authorities were notified of a suspected case of measles within the Tongan rugby team that had arrived to play in a regional tournament.