The Mexican Ministry of Health issues an epidemiological alert for measles. - Expat Community

The Mexican Ministry of Health issues an epidemiological alert for measles.

Apr 10, 2024 | Mexico, News & Articles | 0 comments


The Mexican Ministry of Health has issued an epidemiological alert due to the detection of measles cases. The federal agency has called on all health centers to monitor possible infections and take measures to prevent “the reintroduction of the virus.” “Measles is a highly contagious viral disease,” the ministry emphasizes, confirming four cases and analyzing another 855. So far, the confirmed patients are “imported cases,” so the agency seeks to prevent local transmission.

The first case of measles this year in Mexico was identified on March 14. It involved a one-year-and-eight-month-old child, originally from Romania and residing in Hungary, who had traveled to France and Great Britain in recent months before arriving in Mexico City. The disease was detected at the capital’s airport, where the mother reported that symptoms had begun the previous day. After confirming the measles diagnosis, the government initiated a rapid response protocol, but three new cases were identified in the following days.

An adult Mexican on the flight from London to Mexico City was also infected, who had never been vaccinated against measles, along with another foreigner —about whom no further details have been given— and a six-month-old British baby who had not received any vaccine doses, as the first dose is administered at one year of age. “The National Epidemiological Surveillance System in Mexico continues to monitor all contacts epidemiologically to immediately identify if they present symptoms, which allows for the timely detection of imported cases and immediate actions to limit transmission chains,” the Ministry of Health stated on April 6.

This week, the federal agency has raised the tone and issued a “new notice to all first, second, and third-level medical units following the detection of imported cases of measles.” In addition to urging medical centers to follow protocols, it has reminded families of the importance of vaccinating children against the disease “to prevent indigenous measles cases in the country.”

The vaccination schedule consists of two doses: the first at 12 months old and the second at 18 months old. For children born before 2022, the second dose will be administered at six years old. The Ministry of Health has ensured that medical centers in the 32 states have triple viral vaccines —measles, rubella, and mumps (SRP)— for children aged one to nine, as well as the measles and rubella double vaccine for adolescents aged 10 to 19.

Measles contagion is very similar to that of COVID-19. It is transmitted through saliva droplets after coughing and sneezing. It incubates in the body for one to three weeks and is transmitted four days before and four days after the appearance of rashes on the body, which is why isolation is recommended for patients. Symptoms to identify it include fever, red spots on the skin, eye irritation, as well as rhinitis and coughing. Severe cases, according to the Ministry of Health, “are frequent in malnourished young children and especially in those whose immune system is weakened. In such cases, the lethality of measles can reach 10% of cases. The most common complications are pneumonia, laryngotracheobronchitis, and encephalitis.”

Since late January, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) have issued a measles alert in the Americas due to the increase in infections and the arrival of imported cases. Thus, as of March 23, the date of the latest update, there have been 58 confirmed cases in the US —40 imported—; Canada has 39; Mexico, 4; Argentina, three; Peru, two, and Bolivia and Brazil have each registered one. In other countries, such as Spain, new measles cases have also been identified since January this year, after years without records.

Globally, there has been a more than 3,000% increase in cases in Europe and Central Asia, according to the latest WHO data. Between January and December 2023, there were 30,601 positives, compared to 938 in 2022. UNICEF, the UN agency for children, warned that this is due to the decline in vaccination, which had been increasing until the pandemic. Mexico is considered a country where measles is eliminated, according to these organizations, which is why, the Ministry of Health points out, “it is important to detect cases promptly and keep people vaccinated to maintain that classification.”


Related Post

What is going on in your part of the world? Are there any news of relevance you believe should be translated to english? Comment below!


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe for Weekly News Summaries