'Doctors are treating unimmunised New Zealanders in carparks and outdoor areas in an attempt to reduce the spread of measles, as the number of confirmed cases of the contagious disease rose to 25.
A severe measles outbreak, described as the worst “in years” continues to spread in the Canterbury region of the South Island, with health authorities saying 100,000 people need to be urgently vaccinated, and more cases of the highly infectious illness are expected in the coming days and weeks.
As a result, doctors have moved their clinics outside, to reduce the chance of the disease spreading in confined surgeries and waiting rooms.
Vaccine supplies have run out in the affected region and tens of thousands of extra supplies are being flown in from around the country, as doctors use their last stocks to vaccinate those most in need of protection, including young babies and those with other health issues.
“It can now be assumed that measles is circulating widely in our community,” said Dr Ramon Pink, Canterbury medical officer of health.
The minister of health, Dr David Clarke, said government health officials were “closely monitoring” the situation in Canterbury to try and prevent the disease spreading to other parts of the country.
Government health representatives were on the ground in Christchurch, and would have an update on Wednesday regarding the latest steps that are being taken to isolate the outbreak, and ensure it doesn’t spread beyond Canterbury’s borders.'
Read more: New Zealand doctors move clinics outside in bid to stop measles' spread
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