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Measles cases detected in Seychelles |20 January 2020

The Public Health Authority has detected fifteen suspected cases of measles as of January 16, 2020.

Three of those suspected cases have tested positive for measles.

While four out of fifteen cases are admitted at hospital, three have been discharged.

Across the globe there are several ongoing epidemics and regionally, some countries are experiencing prolonged outbreaks. Seychelles remains at risk of the disease and the Public Health Authority (PHA) has amped up its surveillance.

A vaccination campaign against measles started in November 2019 among health care workers and the campaign will soon be done in the community.

The PHA have begun preparations to procure measles and rubella vaccines for widespread vaccination of the population.

Measles is an infectious vaccine preventable disease. It is caused by a virus and usually passed from one person to another through direct contact and through the air.

The signs of a measles infection are usually:

• High fever over 38 degrees Celsius

• Cough

• Runny nose

• Red watery eyes

• A rash that starts on the face and spreads to the rest of the body.

No specific treatment exists for measles infection and the treatment is symptomatic. The disease can lead to complications such as brain inflammation, severe diarrhoea and related dehydration, ear infections, or pneumonia, and in some cases even death. These complications are more common in children under the age of 5, or adults over the age of 30. Management of more serious cases require hospitalisation.

Persons in Seychelles born in 1989 and later who have received two doses of measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccines are immunised against measles.

Some tips from the PHA in view of the suspected cases of measles are:

• Report to your health centre if you have signs of measles infection

• Try to avoid contact with people who are more vulnerable to the infection, such as young children and pregnant women, while you're ill

• After being diagnosed with measles you should avoid work or school for at least 4 days from when you first developed the rash

• Provide your children with safe and long-lasting protection against measles by making sure they get the MMR vaccines according to the immunisation schedule.

The PHA is monitoring the situation closely and will update the public on its evolution.

Press release from the Ministry of Health

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