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Public Health recommends measles vaccination for children

DIVISION of Public Health Services-Immunization Program manager Jeremy Sasamoto is encouraging parents to get their children vaccinated for measles, mumps and rubella or MMR.

Sasamoto made the appeal after the Public Health/Hospital Emergency Preparedness and Epidemiology Laboratory Capacity programs warned about an ongoing outbreak of measles in the Philippines.

 “It only takes one person to start an outbreak,” Sasamoto said. “Let us ensure that our children are protected against the measles by ensuring they are up to date with the MMR vaccine.  It is a preventable disease and we have the vaccine to do it.”

He added, “Measles is highly contagious and should not be taken lightly as it kills too many children around the world every year.”

He advised CNMI travelers to the Philippines to plan ahead and get vaccinated.

It takes time for the vaccine to build anti-bodies, he added. “One cannot expect to get vaccinated today and be protected tomorrow.”

In an advisory, the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. said people traveling to and from the Philippines should make sure they are vaccinated against measles. Children should receive two doses of MMR vaccine, with the first dose given at first year of age or older, and the second dose given when they are between  4 and 6 years old.

“If you are a returning traveler from the Philippines and has developed both a fever and rash, please see a medical provider immediately,” CHCC stated.

For more information, call the Division of Public Health Services -Immunization Program at 236-8745 or 236-8709/83/81. To report a notifiable disease, call 236-8211.

Source: Marianas Variety : http://www.mvariety.com/cnmi/cnmi-news/local/103763-public-health-recommends-measles-vaccination-for-children

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