The Ministry of Health says it was recently alerted to a positive case of Measles in Guatemala, imported from Germany. Measles is a highly infectious viral disease but is also a vaccine-preventable disease. This disease has not been reported in Belize since 1991 but the number of cases of Measles in the region of the Americas has increased from 92 to 271 in 2016 and 2017, respectively, and the Caribbean is reporting highly suspicious cases imported from the United Kingdom (UK). The Ministry of Health issued an advisory this evening, to IMMEDIATELY report to your nearest health facility if you show signs or observe someone with the following symptoms:
One: Any person with history of fever of 4 days, rash that started on the neck and face and scattered on the body thereafter and any one of the 3 C’s (Cough, Coryza, which is a runny nose, or Conjunctivitis) OR
Two: Any person with fever and any one of the 3 C’s(Cough, Coryza or a runny nose, or Conjunctivitis). This is even before the onset of rash, especially with history of travel to and from the UK in the previous 30 days.
MOH says that suspicious cases need to be isolated and investigated to avoid spread to susceptible individuals who may not have been vaccinated against the disease. In response to this alert, the Ministry convened a meeting with all its public health nurses last week to share the information and activate an immediate heightened surveillance to follow up on any presentation of symptoms that can possibly lead to a positive Measles case.