Over 1000 people have been infected by the measles outbreak in New Zealand this year. Health authorities reported that between Jan. 1 to Sept. 5, 1051 people were infected by the viral disease.

“Measles is circulating in New Zealand, particularly Auckland,” a statement released by the Ministry of Health in New Zealand said. Out of the 1051 confirmed cases of measles, 877 cases have been reported in Auckland.

Ministry of Health has asked people to stay away from work, school and public places if they are feeling sick. Measles is highly contagious, as even being in the same room with an infected person is enough to catch the disease.

Recently an Auckland boy who was infected inadvertently put students from over 20 colleges at potential risk of contracting measles after he attended the Auckland high school ball. Another person, who was on a flight from Melbourne to Auckland was infected with measles last Friday.

Dr. Nikki Turner, director of Immunisation Advisory Centre, told New Zealand’s Newshub, measles was now a “significant problem.”

"This was entirely predictable and preventable, so it is very disappointing for us. I guess on the other side I have to say New Zealanders are responding really well to this. We hear this week there's been a huge uptake of people coming to get vaccinations," she said.

Turner has urged children and adults to get vaccinated as soon as possible, especially people living in the Auckland area. The Ministry of Health too asked people to get vaccinated as soon as possible in order to avoid contracting the disease.

The ministry also advised people to cancel public gatherings and events, while also asking the infected people to stay indoors and avoid spreading measles to others.

“If you have measles it is important to avoid spreading it to others in the waiting room,” the statement said. “At this stage the Ministry does not recommend event organisers cancel events such as concerts, sports events, festivals, or other public congregations. However, organisers are asked to liaise closely with their local DHBs and public health units for the latest advice.”

Measles, a contagious disease whose symptoms include rashes and fever, can also be potentially fatal. U.S. data suggests that for every 1000 cases 1 or 2 people die.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), measles caused an estimated 2.6 million deaths every year before vaccines were introduced in 1963. The measles cases were steadily on the decline till 2016, but have since been on the rise.

Worldwide cases of measles had quadrupled in the first three months of 2019 in comparison to the same time last year, WHO said.

Health authorities have asked people visiting Auckland to get vaccinated at least two weeks prior.

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Rockland County is being sued by the parents of unvaccinated kids. A nurse prepares a measles vaccine to a boy in the school of Lapaivka village near the western Ukrainian city of Lviv on February 21, 2019. YURI DYACHYSHYN/Getty Images