Costa Rica is one of the country with the best health care in Central America and thanks to their robust immunisation program, they have been declared free from Measles for 5 years since 2014.
Why just a 5 years stint? That’s because on the 18th of February 2019, a boy from France who came to the country for holiday was diagnosed to have Measles. Upon hospital admission, it was learned that both the boy and his mother never got vaccinated for Measles. A report released by Costa Rica’s Ministry of Health two days later confirmed the event and informed the public that they have taken the necessary steps to control the case by putting the boy in strict isolation at the Monseñor Sanabria Hospital in Puntarenas, and has been working on identifying those who came into contact with the family including the passengers of the same France Air flight.
The last known case of Measles in Costa Rica back in 2014 was also an import case introduced to the country and they have not had any indigenous case since 2006 due to their robust immunisation program and exceptional acceptance by their people.
Measles is a highly contagious disease caused by the virus family paramyxovirus and is spread through air droplets from cough and sneeze. Common symptoms include:
- Red eyes
- A distinct rash
This potentially fatal disease is very preventable through the use of vaccines as low as two-doses such as the one used in Malaysia, the MMR vaccine.
According to the same report by Costa Rica’s Ministry of Health, the ministry further underscored the need for vaccination by saying, “Our country enjoys very good vaccination coverage in general, however, it is always important, in order to avoid particular cases and their possible complications, that those in charge of minors ensure that children have the complete vaccination scheme.”
In 2017, at least 96 percent of the population had received the first dose of measles vaccine and 93 percent had received the second dose, according to World Health Organization statistics.
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