The U.S. Embassy in Manila issued a health alert last Friday for its citizens from the mainland and territories traveling to the Philippines about a nationwide measles outbreak.
According to the U.S. Embassy health alert, health officials in the Philippines have reported an outbreak of measles through out the country. U.S. citizens are advised to get measles, mumps and rubella or MMR vaccine, avoid contact with people who are sick and educate self for measles prevention and medication.
Last February, the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. issued a press release stating there’s no reported outbreak of measles in the CNMI, but encouraged the community to stay updated with the appropriate vaccinations.
The CHCC press release was the result of the ongoing measles outbreak in the Southern part of the Philippine sent by the Department of Health Regional Epidemiology Surveillance Unit in the Philippines to the CNMI Public Health Preparedness Program.
CHCC cannot overemphasize that measles vaccination is highly effective in preventing measles as parents in the CNMI were reminded that children should receive their first dose of measles vaccine (MMR) at 12-15 months old and a second dose of MMR at 4 to 6 years old.
According to the World Health Organization, initial symptoms of measles which usually appear 10-12 days after infection are high fever (101 F or higher), runny nose, bloodshot eyes, tiny white spots on the inside of the mouth, and rashes. The rash spreads all over the body and usually lasts a week.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention highly recommends that children 12 months and older and adolescents receive two doses of MMR, 28 days apart. Infants 6-11 months old will need one dose before travel.
Returning travelers from the Philippines are asked to be attentive of their health condition and should fever and rash develop, they are asked to see a medical provider immediately.
Information is available at the CHCC immunization program at (670) 236-8745 05 236-9709/83/81 and for assistance, call the U.S. Embassy in the Philippines at (632) 301-2000 or send a message to ACSInfoManila@state.gov.