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HPA confirms third measles case

Mariyam Malsa
14 January 2020, MVT 21:09
A nurse draws a dose of mumps-measles-rubella, or MMR, vaccine. (AP Photo/The Wichita Eagle, Mike Hutmacher, 2006 file)
Mariyam Malsa
14 January 2020, MVT 21:09

The Health Protection Agency (HPA), on Tuesday, revealed that a third case of measles was confirmed in Maldives.

HPA stated that the individual was among ten people currently undergoing tests for measles.

The first case, involving a three-year-old child, was reported on January 11. The child in question had not received the complete dosage of the measles vaccine.

The Ministry of Health confirmed the second case on Monday with the victim being a 30-year-old man.

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 situation. He added that the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the Red Crescent were also involved in the effort.

HPA has commenced administering vaccines in areas visited by the infected individuals and has commenced efforts to identify people that came in contact with the infected. The agency 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 also established a hotline for information clarification.

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

Vaccination against measles commenced in the Maldives in 1983. The first recorded case of measles in the archipelago was in 2009.

Maldives was declared Measles free by the World Health Organization (WHO) in June 2017. At that time, Maldives and Bhutan become the first two countries to achieve the target of eradicating Measles before the year 2020 from the South Asia region.

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 untreared, Measles can be fatal.

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