Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Measles Outbreak Prevention in Belize

Press Release – Ministry of Health, Belmopan - May 25, 2011 - The Ministry of Health notifies the general public that an outbreak of Measles is ongoing in 33 different countries in Europe and transmission has been reported in 5 countries in the Americas. The last cases of measles in Belize were reported in 1991.

Measles is a very contagious disease caused by an infection with the measles virus. Transmission of the virus occurs through unprotected coughing and sneezing of an infected person. A single case of this virus can cause an epidemic among unvaccinated persons. Signs and symptoms of Measles infection include:

- Fever - Rash - Cough - Runny nose (coryza) OR - Red eyes (conjunctivitis)

All persons, especially young children, who have not been vaccinated against measles are asked to contact the nearest public health center during normal working hours.

Travelers going to or coming from Europe, North, Central and South America are advised to review their immunization status and to seek measles vaccine if unvaccinated.

The general public is urged to immediately report signs and symptoms of this disease to community health nurses in the districts or to public health personnel at the Ministry of Health.

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