If the Bartlett and Hamer Sopel models are applied to the pattern of measles epidemics in the islands of the South-West Pacific, an interesting picture emerges. Before Europeans arrived, the people in these islands had no contact with measles. By the late nineteenth century, Europeans were arriving by sailing ship, but since the journey time was several weeks, they could not carry measles with them.
With the coming of steamships and, later, air travel, the journey time shrank from months to days to hours. Measles became endemic. As there was no resistance whatsoever to the virus, the entire population was susceptible. At first, there were often fatal epidemics.
Once a vaccination programme to reduce the number of susceptibles had been introduced in the 1980s, the impact of measles was greatly reduced.