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The Ministry of Health advises on the present Measles Situation in Central America and the Caribbean

Belmopan. January 29th, 2018. The Ministry of Health was recently alerted to a positive case of Measles in Guatemala, imported from Germany.

Measles is a highly infectious viral disease but is also a vaccine-preventable disease that has not been reported in Belize since 1991. The number of cases of Measles in the region of the Americas has increased from 92 to 271 in 2016 and 2017, respectively, and the Caribbean is reporting highly suspicious cases imported from the United Kingdom (UK).

The public is hereby advised to IMMEDIATELY report to your nearest health facility if you show signs or observe someone with the following symptoms:

- Any person with history of fever of 4 days, rash that started on the neck and face and scattered on the body thereafter and any one of the 3 C’s (Cough, Coryza or a runny nose, or Conjunctivitis) OR

- Any person with fever and any one of the 3 C’s (Cough, Coryza or a runny nose, or Conjunctivitis), even before the onset of rash, with history of travel to and from the UK in the previous 30 days.

Suspicious cases need to be isolated and investigated to avoid spread to susceptible individuals.

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that every eligible child receive 2 doses of measles-containing vaccine. It also encourages adults who are not fully immunized, or who are not sure of their immunity status, to get vaccinated. In response to this alert, the Ministry convened a meeting with all its public health nurses last week to share the information and activate an immediate heightened surveillance to follow up on any presentation of symptoms that can possibly lead to a positive Measles case.

For more information, contact: Dr. Natalia Beer Dr. Marvin Manzanero, Technical Advisor Director of Health Services, Maternal and Child Health Ministry of Health, Belmopan, 822-2325/ 828-4482 or 822-2325/828-0809

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