Saturday, June 22, 2024

Now it’s the measles: 25 cases detected in Mexico City

Health officials reported on Wednesday that there are 25 confirmed cases of measles in Mexico City, including 10 minors and 15 adults.

City Health Minister Oliva López Arellano said that 11 of the cases are prison inmates, nine of whom are incarcerated in the Reclusorio Norte prison in the northern borough of Gustavo A. Madero.

That borough currently has the highest number of cases in the city, with most centered around the prison. Others have been confirmed in the boroughs of Álvaro Obregón, Xochimilco, Tláhuac and Tlalpan.

“In these cases we immediately initiate contact tracing, which means a sweep of 25 blocks for every suspected case to look for contacts and apply vaccines,” said López.

“This is concentrated in the borough of Gustavo A. Madero, where we’ve implemented seven such vaccine operations, and in the other districts. It’s the same outbreak, because all cases have been identified.”

She said that all cases came from outside the country and that this particular strain is Canadian. Officials have yet to identify the visitor who brought the disease to Mexico, but it is known that the first cases were in the Reclusorio Norte prison.

López said that unlike Covid-19, there already is a vaccine for the measles, making it more controllable and less likely that there will be a large outbreak of the disease. Nevertheless, she urged citizens who have not been vaccinated to do so.

“It’s a shared responsibility. Government health clinics have the vaccine, the personnel, the training and the will, but people must have their vaccination records and take their little ones to get vaccinated,” she said.

She said that the vaccine for measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) consists of two doses, the first administered at age 1 and the reinforcement shot given at 6 years old. She said that the government has sufficient quantities to vaccinate all who need it.

“In January and February we freed up 168,000 vaccines for Mexico City, so we have enough vaccines. We’re doing everything necessary to stock health centers with the MMR vaccine, so that the kids can get their shots,” she said.

López said that the outbreak in the Reclusorio Norte prison is currently under control and all nine cases are asymptomatic.

She said that the prison carried out an intensive vaccination campaign with over 8,000 prisoners, guards and visiting relatives. The male and female facilities at the Santa Martha Acatitla prison, in the southeast of the city, administered over 10,000 vaccines.

Measles were eradicated in Mexico in 1996 but the numbers began growing last year due to lower vaccination rates, the Health Ministry said last August.

Source: El Universal (sp)

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