The Edition


Health ministry confirms second measles case

Mariyam Malsa
13 January 2020, MVT 22:45
A nurse draws a dose of mumps-measles-rubella, or MMR, vaccine. (AP Photo/The Wichita Eagle, Mike Hutmacher, 2006 file)
Mariyam Malsa
13 January 2020, MVT 22:45

The Ministry of Health, on Monday, confirmed that a second case of measles was reported in Maldives.

According to the ministry, the 30-year old man that contracted the disease did not come into contact with the unvaccinated 3-year-old that was confirmed to have measles on Saturday.

The ministry revealed that a third individual, aged 17, suspected to have contracted measles tested negative for the disease.

Speaking at a press conference, Minister of Health Abdulla Ameen stated that the ministry was in discussion with hospitals and health care facilities in the greater Male' region to effectively manage the health situation in the country. He added that the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the Red Crescent were also involved in the effort.

He revealed that officials from the Health Protection Agency (HPA) would commence administering vaccines in areas visited by the infected individuals starting from 1600 hrs.

Furthermore HPA revealed that efforts were underway to identify people that came in contact with the infected. The agency also stated that areas surrounding the victims' homes are of immediate attention.

The measures, specifically targeted at unvaccinated individuals and those who did not receive the second dose of the vaccine, include awareness programmes which will also cater to expatriates residing in Maldives. The ministry has established a hotline for information clarification as well.

At present, the ministry plans to continue the aforementioned measures for three months.

However, Minister Ameen stated that the isolation centre in reclaimed suburb Hulhumale' would be utilized if the situation escalates.

The health minister strongly urged all unvaccinated individuals to get the full required dosage, particularly calling on parents to ensure their children were vaccinated and cautioning guardians not to send children to school without vaccination.

In reference to allegations that certain private schools in various regions of the country enrolled unvaccinated children, the minister assured that authorities would look into the matter.

Highlighting that all state sponsored schools mandated vaccination, Minister Ameen expressed the need for schools to be held accountable concerning such matters.

The health ministry advised any individuals who experience symptoms to seek medical assistance in their island of residence due to the highly contagious nature of the disease.

Measles is highly contagious and can spread through coughing and sneezing. While the most well-known symptom of the disease is a 'blotchy rash', other indicators include high fever, runny nose, cough, eye discharge and white spots inside the mouth. If left untreated, measles can be fatal.