The race is on to get vulnerable people in the region vaccinated.
"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. According to the World Health Organization, identifying and confirming suspected measles and rubella cases through surveillance allows early detection of outbreaks, analysis of on-going transmission in order to mount more effective vaccination measures, and estimation of the underlying true incidence based on the patterns in reported data.
"Vaccination is the best protection against this serious and highly infectious virus that spreads very easily from person to person", Clark said.
One in 10 people who get measles will need treatment in hospital, and up to 30 per cent will develop complications - usually children under five and adults over the age of 20.
Some are utilizing the exemptions in Huron County, where the overall MMR vaccination rates for the locally documented incoming kindergartners is almost 7 percent lower than the state average. Health officials there have responded by stepping up vaccination efforts. Lindenberger went as far as testifying about his case before a U.S. Senate committee last week.
"I saw some really overwhelming evidence that was in defense of vaccines and when I turned 18, I pursued that route", Lindenberger said.
Here, Art Reingold, professor and division head of epidemiology at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Public Health, talks about measles, vaccine safety, and the importance of immunizing kids. It's more than just a rash and a fever.
"It's not the low rates of vaccination, it's the fact that measles is such a contagious virus - it's the most contagious virus known to human-kind".
Children too young to be vaccinated or who have only had one dose of vaccine are more likely to get infected.
Pharmac, the Canterbury District Health Board (CDHB) and the Ministry of Health were working closely together to ensure there were vaccines available to the people who needed them.