According to the Ministry of Health, 10,163 measles cases, including 12 deaths, were confirmed in the country between January 1 and November 27. The majority of cases have been reported in the northwestern states of Amazonas (9695) and Roraima (347). However, transmission rates in these two states have fallen significantly in recent weeks. Isolated cases have also been reported in the states of São Paulo (3), Rio de Janeiro (19), Rio Grande do Sul (45), Rondônia (2), Bahia (2), Pernambuco (4), Pará (41), Federal District (1), and Sergipe (4).
The outbreak has been linked to the influx of refugees from neighboring Venezuela.
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.
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