MEASLES EPIDEMIC IN TONGA

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NUKU’ALOFA, Tonga (July 17,1997.-.PACNEWS) There is a measles epidemic on Tongatapu, Tonga’s main island, with high school students the main sufferers.

The Ministry of Health reports the disease had been prevalent for about a month, with children l4 years and over the worst affected.

Health Ministry spokesperson Dr. ‘Akanesi Makakaufaki said about ten students had sought treatment as outpatients at Vaiola Hospital recently. She said a number of others with severe fever had been hospitalized.

Most of those suffering as a result of the current outbreak of the disease were not vaccinated when the measles immunization program began in Tonga during the l980’s.

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