Over 200 cases of measles reported; vaccination is the best prevention
21 August 2014 - Honiara, Cases of measles in Solomon Islands continue to rise with over 200 reported, the majority of which are in Honiara. Parents need to act quickly and vaccinate their children aged 6 months to 4 years and 11 months against this potentially deadly disease, warns The Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MHMS), World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF.
Unvaccinated young children are the most at risk of ‘catching’ measles. They are more likely to suffer serious complications (such as pneumonia or severe diarrhoea) and die from the disease.
“Parents need to protect their children from measles. The best way of doing this is by taking them to a local health clinic for a measles vaccination. The vaccine is safe, effective and free. It will prevent their children from ‘catching’ the disease”, said Dr. Lester Ross, Permanent Secretary of MHMS.
“Even if a child has had one dose of the measles vaccine, parents of 1 year to 4 years and 11 month old children should take them back to their health clinic for a second dose, immediately”, added Dr. Ross.
“It is also important that parents remember to take their child’s baby book so that they can keep a record of their child’s vaccinations”, concluded Dr. Ross.
Measles is a highly infectious disease that is transmitted through droplets from the nose, mouth or throat of an infected person. Symptoms include high fever, runny nose, red eyes, and a rash on the face and body. There is no treatment for measles, only medication to relieve the symptoms.
MHMS, WHO and UNICEF are working together to control the measles outbreak in Solomon Islands.