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Belize Issues Measles Advisory – Free Vaccine Available

– Press Release, Ministry of Health, Belmopan, February 25, 2015 – The Ministry of Health has been advised by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of an outbreak of Measles at the Disneyland Resort in California in the United States of America (USA). In addition, cases are being reported in Canada and one case related to the Disneyland outbreak has been reported in Mexico.

Measles is a contagious disease characterized by fever, rash, runny nose and red eyes. It spreads through air droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Although Measles remains prevalent in many parts of the world, Belize has been free from the disease since 1991. In order to maintain our Measles free status, the recommended and most cost-effective public health approach is to advise persons to get vaccinated with the Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR) vaccine.

In Belize, vaccination coverage against measles has been greater than 95% over the last 10 years. The measles vaccine is available throughout the country in all public and NHI health facilities free of cost to the public. We also collaborate with the private sector health facilities to ensure availability of the vaccines.

The MMR vaccines have been prequalified and approved by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO). The Ministry of Health has conducted numerous vaccination campaigns against Measles and active surveillance continues.

The public is asked to report any signs or symptoms of the disease to the nearest health facility in your area or the Ministry of Health in Belmopan at 822-2325/2363.

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