Health Ministry issues Measles alert

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[www.inewsguyana.com] – The Ministry of Health has intensified efforts to prevent the reintroduction of measles in Guyana following the outbreak of this infectious disease in the United States of America and other parts of the world.

Indigenous Measles and Rubella were eliminated from Guyana and the Region of the Americas in 2002 and 2009 respectively, but remained endemic in some World Health Organisation (WHO) regions. These outbreaks, occurring since 2013, pose a threat to the Caribbean Sub Region including Guyana.

A statement from the Ministry noted that immunization coverage nationally over the last five years is reported above 97%, but varies across the Regions and is lower in rural and remote areas of Guyana, with small pockets of vulnerable persons including children and adults existing.

As such, the Ministry is advising all travellers to Guyana with a fever, rash along with a cough or running nose or pink/red eye to contact a doctor or the nearest health center.

Persons who reside in Guyana especially children, who may have been in contact with a traveller with these symptoms are also requested to seek immediate medical attention

Visitors with the above symptoms are encouraged to:

–       Avoid extensive travel around the country while ill.

–       Avoid close contact with especially young children (under 5) in the household during the first 7 days of the appearance of a rash.

Please note that good hand hygiene (washing and sanitizing), cough etiquette (cover cough) and early medical treatment can reduce the risk of measles and other infection.

In addition, all persons (adults and children over one) who have not received two doses of the Measles, Mumps and Rubella Vaccines (MMR) should visit the nearest health center to be vaccinated.