Measles outbreak: More than 100 babies hospitalised after contracting measles this year

More than 100 babies have been hospitalised after contracting measles in New Zealand this year.

As of Friday, 102 infants under a year-old have been hospitalised due to the measles, according to data from the Institute of Environmental Science and Research. There have been 176 confirmed cases in infants under one so far this year.

Thirty-two babies under the age of one have contracted measles in the last week alone, amounting to 18 percent of the year's total.

According to the figures, 1275 cases of measles have been confirmed across New Zealand this year as of Friday, September 13. There have been 441 hospitalisations for measles nationwide.

Of the 176 babies who have contracted measles, 171 were not vaccinated.

In 2019 there have been 165 confirmed cases of measles in children aged12 months to two years, 36 confirmed cases in children aged three to four, 40 diagnoses in five to nine-year-olds and 250 cases among 20 to 29-year-olds. 

There have been 175 confirmed cases in the 30 to 49 age group and only 19 diagnoses for 50-year-olds and over.

According to the figures, 633 people out of the 1275 cases were not vaccinated. Twenty-eight were partially vaccinated and 75 were fully vaccinated.

Roughly 42 percent (539) of the 1275 people who have contracted measles nationwide did not know if they were vaccinated or not.

No one has died of measles in New Zealand since the 1990s, but experts have claimed death is inevitable if the current outbreak isn't stopped. US data suggests around one or two people die for every 1000 infections.

"I think it's clear that some of the cases we've already had through our intensive care units would have died 20 or 30 years ago - without the intensive treatment we've been able to provide," Starship Hospital clinical director Mike Shepherd told Newshub on Wednesday.