"It can now be assumed that measles is circulating widely in our community", said Dr Ramon Pink, Canterbury Medical Officer of Health.
According to DSHS, measles is so contagious that if one person is infected then 90 percent of the people around that person who are not immune will catch it.
Extra supplies of the MMR vaccine in Canterbury are being delivered, with 18,000 doses expected to be available in practices from Wednesday. A lot of them were children under the age of five.
While on February 14, World Health Organization also warned that at least 922 children and young adults have died of measles in Madagascar since October, despite a huge emergency vaccination program. The majority of measles cases are male (53%).
She said there were no reports of measles in South Canterbury, but if people suspected they were infected they must take immediate precautions.
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The measles immunization rate for OH children ages 4 to 6 - children who have received the recommended two doses of MMR vaccine - is 92 percent, according to the Erie County Health Department statistics.
"These outbreaks are linked to travelers who brought measles back from other countries such as Israel and Ukraine, where large measles outbreaks are occurring", the agency notes on its website.
Another one or two out of 1,000 people with measles will die, even with medical treatment. 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.
Health Minister David Clark said Tuesday that vaccination was the "best protection against this serious and highly infectious virus that spreads very easily from person to person".
Under-immunised people exposed to measles first develop a respiratory type illness with dry cough or runny nose or conjunctivitis and a temperature over 38.5 C and a rash.