Milestones :: Perspectives
PAHO urges countries to vaccinate against measles to maintain its elimination in the Americas
Maintaining high and homogeneous immunization coverage, strengthening surveillance and quickly responding to suspected cases are some of the suggested measures to maintain measles elimination in the Americas
Washington, DC, 16 March 2018 (PAHO/WHO)- The Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) warned that in the face of ongoing measles outbreaks in the Americas, countries should redouble efforts to vaccinate their populations, strengthen surveillance to detect possible patients, and implement measures to quickly respond to any suspected cases, according to an epidemiological update released today.
Measles was declared eliminated from the Americas in 2016, following the declaration of rubella and CRS elimination in 2015. The Region was the first in the world to have eliminated all three diseases, culminating a 22-year effort involving mass vaccination against measles, mumps, and rubella throughout the Americas. However, the highly contagious nature of the measles virus and the fact that both it and the rubella virus continue to circulate in the rest of the world mean that the Region is at risk of outbreaks.
In the first months of 2018, there were night countries in the Region reporting confirmed cases: Antigua and Barbuda (1 case), Brazil (14 cases), Canada (4 cases), Guatemala (1 case), Mexico (4 cases), Peru (2 cases), the United States (13 cases), and Venezuela (886 cases in total, 159 cases in 2018), according to the epidemiological update…