Sun. Aug 18th, 2019

Health officials urge vaccination amid measles outbreak in Asia-Pacific region

The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned the Ministries of Health in Pacific Island Countries, including Palau of the measles outbreak across the Asia-Pacific region, according to Palau’s Ministry of Health (MOH) press statement yesterday.

Although Palau has no reported cases of measles, health officials are warning people to make sure they are vaccinated against it.

Vaccination is the most effective preventive measure for measles, the health officials noted.

“The Ministry of Health urges parents to ensure their children have received the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine,” the statement stated.

The MOH said some of Palau’s neighboring countries are experiencing outbreaks of measles which why there is a need for vigilance.

Health officials advised parents to ensure that children receive two doses of the MMR vaccine before the age of five to ensure life-long immunity against measles.

“Parents are encouraged to review their children’s immunization records to ensure that they have received both doses of the MMR vaccine, “the MOH said.

Older children, adults, and individuals planning to travel internationally are also encouraged to review their immunization records to ensure coverage against measles.

Measles is highly contagious and spreads through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes.  Anyone who is not vaccinated is at risk of getting the disease, officials said.

Measles starts with flu-like symptoms including high fever, cough, runny nose, and pink eye.  A rash also appears 3 to 4 days after the fever starts and usually spreads from head to toe.

MOH said it will continue to monitor the measles situation in the region and provide regular updates to the public.

The statement also added that there have not been any reported cases in Micronesia as well. (By Bernadette H. Carreon)