Hawaiian Authorities Advise Guam Public Health of a Confirmed Case of Measles on Flight That Transit

Posted By: Pacific News Center

By: News Release

Guam - The Honolulu Quarantine Station in Hawaii notified the Guam Department of Public Health and Social Services (DPHSS) of a confirmed case of measles in an Oahu infant who traveled from the Philippines through Guam on February 2, 2014, during the infectious stage of the disease.

The child has been hospitalized and is improving.

The Honolulu Quarantine Station in collaboration with the Guam Customs and Quarantine is reviewing the passenger manifest to identify passengers who were seated in close proximity to the measles case during the flight from Manila to Guam. To date, no Guam resident has been identified as a close contact.

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 the Philippines to make sure they have been vaccinated for measles (given in combination with the measles and mumps vaccines) 2 weeks before departing. With the recent holidays and due to frequent travel of residents between Guam and the Philippines, it is possible that the disease may be brought here.

The DPHSS is encouraging parents to check their children’s shot record to be sure they have received their MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella) vaccine. The current recommendations from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are:

Children should receive two doses of 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.

All health care providers on Guam are urged to be on alert for possible cases of measles and to promptly report suspect cases to the Immunization Program, Bureau of Communicable Disease Control, at 735-7143/7148 or 735-7135. Furthermore, all health care providers are urged to review and update the immunization status of all patients they see. If vaccination is contraindicated because of illness, a follow-up appointment should be scheduled to update vaccination as soon as the illness is over.

For more information, please call the DPHSS Immunization Program at 735-7143.

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