New Zealand faces risky measles outbreak with 25 confirmed cases

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New Zealand's Health Minister David Clark on Tuesday urged people to ensure their vaccinations are up to date as more MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine is sent to Canterbury in the South Island to deal with the ongoing measles outbreak.

"It can now be assumed that measles is circulating widely in our community", the Canterbury District Health Board said in a statement.

Measles is so contagious that if someone has it, 90 percent of the people around that person who are not immune will become infected.

Measles cases are rising globally, including in wealthy nations such as the United States and Germany, where some parents shun the vaccines mostly for philosophical or religious reasons, or concerns - debunked by medical science - that the vaccine could cause autism.

About one out of four people who get the measles will be hospitalized.

Extra supplies of the MMR vaccine in Canterbury are being delivered, with 18,000 doses expected to be available in practices from Wednesday.

In March 7, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) warned that Children in the Philippines are at serious risk of a deadly measles outbreak that has already claimed the lives of 261 people, most of whom are youngsters under age five.

Should parents vaccinate their child for measles?

Children too young to be vaccinated or who have only had one dose of vaccine are more likely to get infected.

Those who are vaccine-hesitant are a health threat, according to the World Health Organization.

Texas is following a national trend with more measles cases. California has reported at least one case since the beginning of the year. In 2015, for instance, there were 154 cases in the first two months of the year followed by just 34 for the remainder of the year, putting it at right about average relative to the past decade's annual totals. A blood test can show if your vaccine is still effective.

The highly contagious disease can spread through coughing and sneezing, and the virus can live for up to two hours in the air or on a surface.

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