Measles Alert! Health Officials monitoring US Outbreak

Tuesday, February 10, 2015 8:24 PM - George's, Grenada
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ST. GEORGE’S, GRENADA, FEBRUARY 10, 2015 – GIS: The Ministry of Health says it is monitoring closely an outbreak of Measles in the United States. Local health officials say Measles is a highly contagious disease that is caused by a virus and spreads through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

In an interview with the Government Information Services (GIS) on Tuesday, Manager of the Ministry’s (Expanded Program Immunization) Nurse Allyson Clouden explained that the disease is so contagious that if one person has it, 90% of the people around him or her will also become infected if they are not protected.

She told (GIS) that persons can be affected from a few days before and up to seven days after symptoms and that if an infected person coughs or sneezes in a room the virus can become airborne and will survive for up to two hours in that room after the infected person would have left.

“So this is why we at the Ministry of Health invest, insist and encourage parents of young children to ensure that their child or children receives their Measles, Mumps and Rubella vaccine, which is a combined vaccine that is proven to be very safe and effective”

The EPI – Manager says it is also very important for persons to practice proper hand-hygiene and cough-etiquette.

Clouden added that the disease can be serious for young children and appealed to parents to protect their child by making sure he or she is up to date on vaccinations, including before traveling abroad.

The senior public health nurse added that Measles often starts with a high fever from 1 - 7 days, followed by a rash of tiny red spots (breakouts) on the face and spreads to the rest of the body, along with a cough, runny nose and red eyes.

Nurse Clouden said when a child has Measles they often become dehydrated, and itch which makes its rather uncomfortable for them to bear with all of the other symptoms. The Ministry of Health is therefore encouraging parents and teachers to monitor children closely.

Meanwhile the Centre for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC) warns that Measles can lead to pneumonia, encephalitis (swelling of the brain), and death.




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