The Colombia Ministry of Health and Social Protection confirmed an imported case of measles in a 14-month-old boy from Caracas, Venezuela, according to a news release (computer translated).
The Caracas boy arrived in Medellín on March 3 and presented with symptoms of the disease on March 8 and was treated every day in a hospital in that city. The child was not vaccinated.
Upon notification of the case on March 13, an immediate response team of the National Institute of Health (INS) traveled to the capital of Antioquia that same day to support the health authorities of Medellín in the realization of the respective epidemiological fence, by searching the city in five blocks. round of people who presented symptoms suggestive of measles, and to identify and vaccinate the population that needs it. In addition, follow-up was done to those who had close contacts with the child, taking into account the transmissibility of the disease.
The Deputy Minister of Public Health and Services, Luis Fernando Correa Serna, highlighted that since 2014 Colombia was certified free of autochthonous measles. “However, in light of the warning from the World Health Organization for the increase in cases of this disease in Europe, the United States and some neighboring countries, and in accordance with the commitments assumed for the maintenance of elimination in our country, we have Strengthened epidemiological surveillance actions to quickly detect any imported case, as well as increased vaccination coverage in recent years to have our population protected. ”
Since 2011, when Colombia registered the last outbreak of measles, with one imported case and only five secondary cases, there have been three cases imported – the most recent in 2015 – without having associated cases in the national population. This situation reflects adequate epidemiological surveillance by health personnel and good vaccination coverage, which today is 95 percent with triple viral throughout the country.
The Ministry recommends that the entire population keep up to date the triple viral vaccination scheme at one year of age, plus a reinforcement at 5 years. To date, the Government has a provision of 350,000 doses of the vaccine, and expects the arrival in the country of 700,000 additional doses in the first days of April.
In Colombia there are 2,600 vaccination points, 127 of them are in Medellin, to which the population can go. Likewise, vaccination actions have been intensified daily in all the country’s borders.
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