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The unvaccinated French child who reintroduced measles in Costa Rica



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The range between exposure to the virus and the onset of rash (skin rash) ranges between 7 and 18 days, according to the World Health Organization.

It is, according to the World Health Organization, a highly contagious and potentially life threatening illness. And Costa Rica has not registered any case since 2014. So far.

A 5 year old French boy who traveled to Costa Rica with his parents, reintroduced measles in the Central American country, which did not record an indigenous case since 2006 and none have imported since 2014.

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The Costa Rican health authorities established a plan of action to prevent the disease from spreading among the local population.

Control measures

The boy and his family had to spend one period of seven days of isolation at the Hospital Monsignor Sanabria, in the city of Puntarenas, under strict control measures: a closed room with ventilation, negative pressure, restricted access and medical attention by virtue of biosafety protocols.

Given the favorable evolution of the child, and after the seven days required by national and international standards to prevent infection for the population, the authorities determined the end of the quarantine period this past Monday.

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Worldwide, it remains one of the leading causes of death in young children, despite the fact that there is a safe and effective vaccine.

According to the Ministry of Health, the child arrived in the country on February 18 and You do not have specific vaccines against measles

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Sanitary authorities have also tried Locate all people who could be in touch with the family, including the 300 passengers traveling with them on board the Air France flight with which they arrived at the country and the people of the hotel in which the boy and his parents left the first day.

In total, according to the latest available information, 104 people have already been vaccinated.

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The country does not record a case of autochthonous measles since the year 2006 and the last one was imported and occurred in 2014.

The Costa Rican authorities also said they had contacted France so that those who were in contact with the child were located and informed.

The parents explained to the hospital staff that some of the children with whom they had contact had also had measles.

A contagious virus and expansion

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), measles is a very contagious and serious disease caused by a virus of the paramixovirus family.

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Most deaths occur in children under 5, especially vulnerable to viruses.

All over the world, it stays one of the leading causes of death in young children, despite the fact that there is a safe and effective vaccine. In 2017, the illness ended the lives of 111,000 people around the world and there was one 30% more cases than the previous year, according to WHO figures.

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Most deaths are due complications derived from the disease, which can lead to blindness, encephalitis (infection accompanied by cerebral edema), severe diarrhea (which can cause dehydration), ear infections and other respiratory diseases such as pneumonia.

In countries where measles was virtually eliminated, the organization says, Cases imported from other countries remain an important source of infection.

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