The Ministry of Health & the Environment of Antigua and Barbuda is advising the general public that it is currently investigating a suspected case of measles that was imported into Antigua & Barbuda, according to a notice on their official Facebook page.
Local media reports that the measles case was imported by a visitor from the United Kingdom.
Measles is a highly contagious disease which is characterized by high fever, cough, runny nose and a fine, red skin rash which starts on the face and spreads to the body. If you or anyone in your family experiences fever with a rash, please go to your doctor or nearest health centre immediately.
Measles is caused by a virus and is spread through coughing and sneezing. There is no specific antiviral treatment. However, the safe and effective measles vaccine that is administered as part of our country’s vaccination programme provides lifelong protection against the disease.
The Ministry is therefore urging parents and guardians to ensure that they and their children are adequately immunized against measles, mumps and rubella with the MMR vaccine. Persons who have not been vaccinated or parents who are not sure of their child’s vaccination status should be taken to your family doctor or the nearest health centre immediately for further advice and to get the vaccine.
In 2016, the Region of the Americas including Antigua and Barbuda was certified as being free of measles. Although we are awaiting laboratory confirmation of the disease, we must remain vigilant to ensure that there is no in-country transmission.