Health Protection Agency (HPA), on Sunday, stated that contacts with the measles patient identified in Addu City identified so far show no symptoms of the disease.
A child tested positive for measles in Addu City last Monday. Subsequently, HPA announced they were undertaking efforts to trace contacts with the patient.
In an update on the matter on Sunday, HPA said Addu City’s Equatorial Hospital had traced the individuals who came in contact with the positive case and clarified their information. They also noted that a community survey of the neighboring area was conducted in accordance with the regulations when the case came to light.
As part of this survey, ring vaccination was carried out to immunize individuals who have not completed both doses of the measles vaccine and individuals who have no record of receiving the vaccine.
Underscoring 65 contacts had been identified with respect to the positive case – HPA said none of them has shown symptoms of the disease. Moreover, they noted all individuals who had gotten in contact with the patient had been vaccinated.
“Information from 41 individuals was retrieved as part of the community survey which included 16 homes and one shop. 19 were vaccinated following the survey,” they added.
As measles is a disease that has been eradicated from the Maldives – HPA stressed that taking samples are taken from individuals consulting with the symptoms of the disease as a procedure followed by all local healthcare institutions in accordance with the agency’s surveillance regulations.
Therewith, they have requested those showcasing symptoms of measles to seek medical assistance at the earliest.
When the positive case from Addu City first came to light – HPA said there was no risk of the disease spreading as the contagious period had already passed. However, as measles had been on the eradicated list, one positive case will also be viewed as an outbreak.
Maldives received the tile and certification for complete eradication of Measles from the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2017 during former President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayyoom’s administration. Since then, the only identified cases were noted right before the COVID-19 outbreak, in January 2020.
The most common symptoms of Measles are fever, red rashes all over the body, cough and runny nose. Some may even experience redness in the eyes, said HPA.