A measles outbreak is ongoing throughout Madagascar as of Monday, March 4. UN health officials have recorded at least 82,905 cases of the disease along with 926 associated fatalities. Cases have been reported in all 22 regions of the country, with the Boeny region being the most affected area in the country.
In November 2018, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a Level 1 travel health notice for Madagascar, advising all travelers to ensure they are vaccinated against measles.
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 occurs 14 days after exposure to the virus (within a range of seven to 18 days). A vaccine is available.
Individuals in Madagascar, particularly in Antananarivo, 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 above symptoms is urged to seek immediate medical attention.
Copyright and Disclaimer