Kosrae, FSM (May 25, 2014) – FSM Director of Health Services, Livinson Taulung, has released a statement to health officials affirming that there are two confirmed cases of measles in Kosrae.
Both cases are to young children less than one year of age.
The last measles outbreak in the FSM was in 1994 and led to the death of 13 children from the infection. In response, then president Jacob Nena declared a requirement that all school children be immunized.
The present outbreak seems to be contained, as no reports of additional cases have been reported. In the meantime health officials from other islands are preparing for the possibility of a spread.
In the Marshall Islands, Secretary of Health, Julia Alfred, stated: “Right now we have a minimum supply of MMRs [Measles, Mumps and Rubella vaccine]… as soon as we get a lot of supplies… our public health workers and primary healthcare staff will be out there distributing the vaccines”. In addition, public officials are conducting programs to keep the public aware and to teach prevention.
Majuro atoll is one plane ride away from Kosrae, prompting the concerns.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) describes measles as a highly contagious respiratory disease caused by a virus. Measles causes fever, runny nose, cough and a rash all over the body.
- Radio New Zealand. "Fear of Measles in Marshalls Islands".
- FSM Government. "FSM President Approved Emergency Immunization".
- Australia Network News. Marshall Islands on high alert after measles outbreak in Federated States of Micronesia".
- The CDC. "Measles (Rubeola)".