Taiwan issues New Zealand travel warning over measles outbreak

Auckland, New Zealand (photo by Simon_sees)

Auckland, New Zealand (photo by Simon_sees) (Wikimedia Commons photo)

Taiwan's Centers for Disease Control (CDC) issued a travel warning to its citizens Friday over a measles outbreak in New Zealand, urging those wishing to visit the country to exercise caution, especially those with children who are not vaccinated or who are under 1 year of age.

According to CDC Deputy Director-General Lo Yi-chun (羅一鈞), 1,214 people have been infected between Jan. 1 and Sept. 12, making it New Zealand's worst measles epidemic since 1997.

The outbreak is mainly concentrated around the country's biggest city, Auckland, in the North Island, with 1,007 of the confirmed cases reported there, Lo said.

In the past four weeks, more than 60 percent of the confirmed cases have been in Manukau, a suburb of South Auckland, he added.

Children under 4 years of age and individuals aged between 20 and 29 have been most affected by the outbreak, Lo said, adding that more than 30 percent of the confirmed cases have required hospitalization.

Also, more than 90 percent of the confirmed cases have not been fully vaccinated against the disease, Lo added.

Considering the surge in confirmed measles case numbers in New Zealand, the CDC issued a Level 1 travel warning for the country and advised anyone planning to visit to make sure they are fully vaccinated at least two weeks before departure.

A Level 1 travel warning advises that precautions should be taken when visiting countries listed, for example by obtaining the relevant vaccinations. (By Chang Min-hsuan and Chung Yu-chen)