After confirming that the patient had traveled abroad in July, Coquimbo Regional Health Authorities are cooperating in an epidemiological investigation aimed at identifying and immunizing possible contacts.
Whether by coincidence or fate, one of the diseases in the public health emergency simulation held in La Serena and Coquimbo on August 9 was measles, which certainly shows the preparedness of the Disaster Risk Management Committee today. The regional health department, in light of the imported case confirmed in the Capital Region last Saturday (August 12), involved a 42-year-old patient who had registered for overseas travel in July for academic reasons.
“In our region, we have to intensify our measles prevention measures, because although the cases are in Santiago, there is always a risk of the disease spreading throughout the territory, so it is important that we have early consultations,” he explained Seremi of Health, Dr. Paula Salas Rivas.
In order to identify the contacts of the patient from the moment of his arrival in the country until he developed the first symptoms and confirm the contagion, to continue the vaccination because of the risk of reintroduction of the disease into the country, the National Health and Family Planning Commission of the Health The Bureau launched an epidemiological investigation, in which local teams are also cooperating.
Identify symptoms and contacts
Measles is an acute, highly contagious viral disease whose sole host (the habitat in which the pathogen survives, grows and reproduces) is humans. The initial symptoms are fever, conjunctivitis, rhinitis, cough, and small white spots on the mucous membranes in the cheeks. Between the third and seventh days, a typical rash (rash) develops in spots that start on the face and then spread through the air to other parts of the body.
The period of transmission corresponds to four days before and four days after the appearance of the rash; the day before and the day after are more intense. The incubation period is 7 to 21 days (10 to 14 days on average).
“According to the definition of suspected cases, the disease may first present with a macular rash, which are small white dots, characterized by appearing on the face, palms. And, if accompanied by fever or conjunctivitis, muscle pain or lymph node swollen (lymph nodes in different parts), it is classified as a suspected case of measles, the healthcare network has to notify us, do a test and isolate the person, at home if you are healthy, and in your health if you have complications Center,” adds Seremi.
On the basis of the epidemiological investigations already started, control and preventive measures against the disease include isolating cases during contagious periods, identifying contacts and vaccinating those who have not received two doses of the vaccine, Dr. Salas emphasized, ” They’re familiar because, like COVID-19, it’s spread by droplets that linger on surfaces when you talk or cough. To that end, they work in the same way: Wear a mask—hopefully covering the entire KN95 for the nose and mouth – keeping distance from people in crowds, washing hands with soap for 40 seconds before getting home to water, and ventilating spaces where we are with others who are not part of our household.”
It is important to emphasize that epidemiological lockdown through vaccination is for those who have been exposed to suspected or confirmed cases of measles and do not have a full immunization schedule against the disease.
Likewise, the Ministry of Health emphasizes that a dose of the SRP vaccine should be administered at least 15 days in advance for those traveling abroad who: were born between 1971 and 1981 and have no history of receiving two doses of the disease; Boys and girls over 1 year of age and under 7 years of age with a history of a single vaccination; except infants 6 months to 11 months 29 days who receive their first dose of vaccine.
Finally, in addition to noting the importance of keeping up-to-date measles vaccine doses at 12 and 36 months according to the current calendar, the health authority concluded with a call to “calm down, be vigilant and go to our regional health centers only if you develop symptoms.