The National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) recommended remaining alert to the potential appearance of suspected and/or confirmed cases of measles, a disease that has re-emerged in recent years with some nine million cases in the world, according to estimates from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), of the United States.
Through a statement, the University Program on Epidemiological and Emerging Risks (PUIREE) highlighted that in the last 15 years, Mexico’s vaccination schemes against measles and rubella have not been able to reach the goal, so it is important that young people have the vaccine for this type of diseases.
“The last measles outbreak in Mexico occurred in 2020, when 196 cases occurred,” he said.
According to UNAM, the measles vaccine has been applied in Mexico since 1970 and in 1998 it was replaced by the triple viral vaccine that protects against this disease, rubella and mumps (MMR). Later, a booster was included for adolescents with a vaccine against measles and rubella.
“Measles is a highly contagious viral disease that is transmitted by infected people who cough, sneeze or talk, where the initial symptoms similar to those of a cold – high fever, rhinorrhea and small white spots on the face – appear within 8 and 12 days after being infected,” he explained.
Likewise, he said that complications occur more frequently in children under 6 years of age and in immunocompromised people (weakening of the immune system). The effects can occur in the ears, larynx and lungs, and although rare, brain damage also appears.
The UNAM highlighted that in the last two years 31,685 cases of measles have been registered in Europe; 941 were in 2022 and more than 30 thousand in the first 10 months of 2023, while in the United States 1,515 cases have been registered in the last five years.
“We recommend remaining alert to the potential appearance of suspected and/or confirmed cases of measles or rubella, which can be imported from other countries and generate outbreaks of varying magnitude among unvaccinated people. In case of suspicion or doubt, contact the General Directorate of Health Care (firstname.lastname@example.org) at PUIREE (email@example.com) or go to your Health Service,” he highlighted.