BVI News

Local health officials working to avoid measles outbreak

BVI health officials are taking proactive steps to avoid a measles outbreak in the territory.

Measles is an extremely infectious disease with a single case potentially giving rise to 15 to 20 secondary cases. Measles is a disease that once plagued many Caribbean countries, but governments throughout the region have largely eradicated it.

Despite the progress made in controlling the disease, there are small outbreaks in the region from time to time.

Acting Chief Medical Officer Dr Ronald Georges said the proactive measures are being taken amid the recent discovery of two measles cases in the Turks and Caicos Islands in early May.

“On May 21, we held initial meetings with public sector pediatricians, public health nurses, and infection control practitioners to plan a response strategy.  An additional meeting was held on May 31 with the Education and Social Development departments to address concerns around measles and communicable diseases in schools and daycares,” Dr Georges said.

He added that health officials are set to meet on June 11 to focus on clinical presentations, information about treatment and complications of measles, public health requirements, immunisation, infection control, surveillance and reporting protocols that have been put in place.

The session will also be simulcast via a LIVE on government’s official Facebook page.

“The introduction of measles in the region is concerning and the outbreak in the Turks and Caicos Islands is a wakeup call to the entire region,” Dr Georges stated.  He added that compounded risk will come due to the upcoming cricket world cup, which will bring thousands of visitors to the region including from regions with poor immunisation coverage.

The  MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) vaccine is known to be 95 per cent effective in preventing clinical measles and 92 per cent effective in preventing secondary cases among household contacts.

The disease usually presents as an influenza like illness with two to four days of viral symptoms before the appearance of rash.  The rash of measles usually starts around the face and behind the ears, then further expands across the body until it becomes a generalised red rash lasting three to seven days and fades gradually.

The public is being reminded that childhood vaccines are available at all pediatricians in the territory and through the BVI Health Services Authority Primary healthcare clinics.


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  1. Wtf now says:

    What about the vaccine the kids took as a baby for measles and varicella?
    U must be kidding me

  2. The thing is says:

    Our children were vaccinated when they were babies against measles. Now think about this, There are a lot of outsiders coming into the Territory that is causing the problem and the out breaks. People that is coming into the Territory especially the ones that is relocating to the BVI they should have a valid vaccine record. I took a trip overseas last year and one of the requirements were that I had to have a valid and updated vaccine record or I would not be permitted into the Country.

  3. my2cents says:

    Well most of us decided that vaccines are bad so IDK

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