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107 confirmed and suspected cases of measles

Radio & TV Tonga, Nuku’alofa, 31/10/2019

The Ministry of Health has recorded 107 people who are confirmed and suspected to have measles in Tonga, most of them are boys between the ages of 10-19.

Of the 107, two of them are members of the rugby squad that travelled to NZ in September and returned in October. They are the first ones to have contracted with the virus in Tonga. 4 of them are from Vava’u.

Health staff in Vava’u are working in cooperation with the Ministry of Education to control the spread of the disease as it is contagious.

Measles is caused by a highly infectious virus that spreads easily from person to person through the air, via breathing, coughing and sneezing. Symptoms of measles start with a non-specific illness lasting 2-4 days includes Fever, Tiredness, Cough, Runny nose, sore red eyes.

It is important that anyone with suspected measles is isolated from the time they become ill until 5 days after the rash appears to protect vulnerable people.

The Ministry of Health is encouraging people to practice good hygiene and drinking lots of water, also staying away from work when sick.

Meanwhile, two babies and an adult have died in Samoa from the measles epidemic.

© Radio and Television Tonga News