Tonga

Tonga Measles Outbreak 2019 - Situation Report #7

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1. Summary of Situation

Background

The outbreak of measles in Tonga began in early October 2019, following the return of a squad of Tongan rugby players from New Zealand. The first rugby player developed measles in New Zealand. Subsequently a further 12 players developed laboratory-confirmed measles after returning to Tonga. The outbreak has involved mainly teenagers from schools on Tongatapu, as well as students from Vava’u High School. Cases on Vava’u appear to be slowing, with the most recent case reported last Thursday. However, cases are now being seen more widely in other age groups and other geographic locations, including the islands of ‘Eua, Niuatoputapu and Ha’apai. An interdisciplinary Ministry of Health Epidemic Task Force meets weekly to advise on management of the outbreak. In addition to routine outbreak response activities, a time-limited vaccination program targeting secondary school students has been completed on Tongatapu and has now started on other islands.