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HPA confirms fourth measles case in Maldives

Ali Shareef
18 January 2020, MVT 22:44
A nurse draws a dose of mumps-measles-rubella, or MMR, vaccine. Photo: AP Photo/The Witchita Eagle, Mike Hutmacher
Ali Shareef
18 January 2020, MVT 22:44

Health Protection Agency (HPA) on Saturday confirmed another case of measles in the Maldives.

According to FPA, of eight individuals that got tested today, one is confirmed positive for measles. This marks the fourth confirmed case of measles reported to date.

A further three cases of measles were confirmed by last Tuesday.

The ministry is currently conducting tests on several individuals likely to have been exposed to the disease or suspected to have the disease. Health Minister Abdulla Ameen on Thursday declared that no additional cases of measles were confirmed.

Although Maldives was declared measles free by the World Health Organization (WHO) in April 2017, this year on January 11, HPA confirmed that a 3-year-old child was 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. On 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, also to include awareness programs catering to expatriates residing in the country.

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.

The ministry plans to continue the vaccination program over the course of the next three months.

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