Measles in Madagascar

Doctor disinfects skin of patient before vaccination

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a travel advisory for Madagascar due to a large measles outbreak. Health officials have said that, since the first measles cases were reported in Antananarivo Renivohitra in the heart of the capital city, Antanarivo, there have been 3,239 laboratory confirmed or epidemiologically linked cases.

Health authorities said that travellers to the country should ensure they are protected against measles with the MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine. In addition, the CDC said that people who cannot show that they were vaccinated or are otherwise protected against measles should get vaccinated before travelling. It is recommended that infants have one dose of MMR vaccine, while adults and children aged over one should have two doses of given on or after the first birthday and separated by at least 28 days. In addition, travellers should avoid contact with people who are sick.

Those who experience symptoms of measles, including cold-like symptoms such as a runny nose, sneezing and a cough; sore, red eyes that may be sensitive to light; a high temperature (fever), which may reach around 40C (104F); and small greyish-white spots on the inside of the cheeks, should seek medical help. Medical help should also be sought if a traveller has been in close contact with someone who has measles and hasn’t been fully vaccinated with two doses of the MMR vaccine or had the infection before, even if they don’t have any symptoms.