The Ministry of Health has invoked previously-unused powers in order to deal with the threat of a measles epidemic.
Its powers mean that thousands of children could potentially be sent home during an outbreak: not only those infected, but also any exposed children who are unimmunised.
An excerpt from the article: (read in full here)
“Chief child health adviser Pat Tuohy said there was growing concern that an epidemic was brewing, with the number of measles cases so far this year already seven times the total number of cases last year.
“Health Ministry figures suggest up to 23 per cent of schoolchildren (174,000) have no immunity to measles.
“The ministry has invoked its powers under infectious and notifiable disease legislation for the first time to order the exclusion of infected students and teachers from school for seven days. Unimmunised children exposed to infected people are excluded from school and sporting events for two weeks.”