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No additional measles cases yet: health ministry

Mariyam Malsa
17 January 2020, MVT 12:51
Minister of Health Abdulla Ameen. PHOTO: HUSSAIN WAHEED/ MIHAARU
Mariyam Malsa
17 January 2020, MVT 12:51

Minister of Health Abdulla Ameen on Thursday declared that no additional cases of measles were confirmed.

The ministry is conducting tests on several individuals suspected to have the disease.

Minister Ameen stated that ongoing vaccination efforts are prioritizing households that have come into contact with the three infected individuals as well as healthcare professionals.

As of Wednesday, the health ministry has administered vaccines to over 1,200 individuals including healthcare workers in the greater Male' region, the three confirmed to have measles, and people who came into contact with the infected.

While Maldives was declared measles-free by World Health Organization (WHO) in April 2017, the Health Protection Agency, on January 11, confirmed that a 3-year-old child tested positive for measles.

Two days later on January 13, the ministry confirmed that a second case, that of a 30-year old man, had surfaced. Last Tuesday, the health agency reported a third case.

In response, the government initiated a vaccination campaign against the outbreak, specifically targeting unvaccinated individuals and those who did not receive the second dose of the vaccine. The campaign also includes awareness programmes catering to expatriates residing in the country.

The measures are scheduled to remain in place for a three-month period and are being overseen by a task force consisting of leading members of all institutions relevant to the measles outbreak.

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