Guyana on measles alert

Last Updated on Tuesday, 17 February 2015, 18:44 by GxMedia

The Ministry of Health has intensified efforts to prevent the reintroduction of measles into Guyana following the outbreak of this infectious disease in the United States of America and other parts of the world.

Indigenous Measles and Rubella were eliminated from Guyana and the Region of the Americas in 2002 and 2009 respectively, but remained endemic in some WHO regions. These outbreaks, occurring since 2013, pose a threat to the Caribbean Sub Region including Guyana.

Immunization coverage nationally over the last five years is reported above 97%, but varies across the Regions and is lower in rural and remote areas of Guyana, with small pockets of vulnerable persons including children and adults existing.

With this background, the Ministry would like to advice all travellers into Guyana with a FEVER with RASH along with a cough or running nose or pink/red eye to please contact a doctor or the nearest health center within your community immediately.

Persons who reside in Guyana especially children, who may have been in contact with a traveller with these symptoms are also requested to seek immediate medical attention

We encourage visitors with the above symptoms to:

– Avoid extensive travel around the country while ill.

– Avoid close contact with especially young children (under 5) in the household during the first 7 days of the appearance of a rash.

Please note that good hand hygiene (washing and sanitizing), cough etiquette (cover cough) and early medical treatment can reduce the risk of measles and other infection.

In addition, all persons (adults and children over one) who have not received two doses of the Measles, Mumps and Rubella Vaccines (MMR) should visit the nearest health center to be vaccinated.