Eliminated Measles Re-Emerge in Maldives, HPA confirms

Health Protection Agency of Maldives (HPA) has confirmed that a 3-year old child was tested positive for measles and has now been discharged after treatment.

According to the health agency, the child who lives in Male’ region was not administered the complete dose of the vaccination at nine and 18 months.

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Following the treatment at IGMH, HPA reveals that the child’s condition has improved and now has been released after having kept the patient under observation until the contagious period has passed.

On a statement released by HPA, the health agency said that they are taking precautionary measures to control the situation and all individuals who were in contact with the child during the contagious period are being tested.

Moreover, HPA also disclosed all the public areas the child had visited during this period:

  • 4 January 2020, Hulhumale’ Hospital – Between 2000hrs and 2300hrs
  • 5 January 2020, Hulhumale’ Hospital – Between 1700hrs and 2100hrs
  • 6 January 2020, Senehiya – Between 1900hrs and 2200hrs
  • 7 January 2020, Hulhumale’ Hospital – Between 1900hrs and 0200hrs
  • 8 January 2020, Treetop Hospital – Between 1100hrs and 1330hrs

HPA has requested individuals who had been to these areas and does not have the full dose of the measles vaccination to get vaccinated at the earliest and to observe for symptoms of the disease. They have further advised individuals to seek immediate treatment from the nearest health facility if anyone is experiencing any symptom of measles.

Maldives was declared as a measles free country by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2017. Along with Bhutan, the popular tourist destination became the first two countries in South Asia to eradicate the disease before 2020.

Former Minister of Health receiving measles eliminated award

The vaccination for the disease was instigated in the Maldives in the year 1979. The only means to control the disease is to get measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), 2 doses of the vaccine.

Measles is transmitted via droplets from the nose, mouth or throat of infected persons. Initial symptoms, which usually appear 10–12 days after infection, include high fever, a runny nose, bloodshot eyes, and tiny white spots on the inside of the mouth. Several days later, a rash develops, starting on the face and upper neck and gradually spreading downwards.

According to WHO, close to 365,000 cases have been reported worldwide in 2019 which is almost three times as many as in the first half of 2018.

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