For Immediate Release
June 18, 2014; 9:30am
DPHSS Release No. 2014-047
The Department of Public Health and Social Services (DPHSS) has been informed that an outbreak of measles is currently occurring in Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia (FSM). As of June 6, 2014, the FSM Department of Health and Social Affairs reported that there have been four (4) cases of measles.
Measles is a highly contagious viral disease. It is primarily spread by person to person contact via large respiratory droplets. Symptoms are characterized by a generalized rash lasting 3 days or longer, with fever (101⁰ F or higher) and cough, or coryza (runny nose), or conjunctivitis (red eyes).
It would be advisable for persons traveling to Pohnpei in July to attend the 8th Micro Games to ensure they have been vaccinated for measles (given in combinationwith the mumps and rubella vaccines) 2 weeks before departing.
DPHSS encourages pregnant women to protect themselves and parents to protect their infants and young children by minimizing exposure (close contact) to persons who have a rash-like illness and cold symptoms. Parents should check their children’s immunization (shot) records to ensure they received all age-appropriate vaccines. The current recommendations from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are:
• Children should receive two doses of Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR) vaccine, with the first dose given at 1 year of age or older and dose #2 given between 4-6 years of age.
• All persons born during or after 1957 should have documentation of at least one dose of MMR vaccine given on or after the first birthday.
Furthermore, all health care providers are urged to review and update the immunization status of all patients they see. If vaccination is contraindicated becauseof illness, a follow-up appointment should be scheduled to update vaccination as soon as the illness is over.
For more information, please call the Department of Public Health and Social Services’ Immunization Program at 735-7143.