The Brazil Ministry of Health reported on Sunday, September 16, that there are at least 1673 confirmed cases of measles nationwide. Authorities have recorded 1326 cases in Amazonas and another 301 in Roraima. Heath officials are still investigating another 7812 potential cases in people who have entered the country from Venezuela. This year, at least eight deaths from measles have been confirmed in Amazonas and Roraima state.
According to humanitarian officials, more than 1 Venezuelans have fled the country over the past 15 months, with a large percentage taking refuge in Colombia and Brazil. The migrant crisis is expected to worsen throughout 2018 as Venezuela's economy continues to falter.
Measles is a highly contagious viral disease that typically affects mostly children. It is transmitted via droplets from the nose, mouth, or throat of infected persons. Symptoms of measles are usually a high fever, which begins approximately ten to 12 days after exposure to the virus and lasts four to seven days. A runny nose, a cough, red and watery eyes, and small white spots inside the cheeks can develop in the initial stage. After several days, a rash erupts, usually on the face and upper neck. Over the course of about three days, the rash spreads, eventually reaching the hands and feet. The rash lasts for five to six days and then fades. On average, the rash appears 14 days after exposure to the virus (within a range of seven to 18 days). A vaccine is available.
Potentially affected individuals are advised to ensure their measles vaccination is up to date (including booster shots) and to contact their doctor with any questions or concerns. Anyone experiencing the abovementioned symptoms is urged to seek immediate medical attention.