Measles outbreak 'under control' in Bahrain
Manama, April 15, 2014
An outbreak of measles across Bahrain that put 18 people in hospital is now under control, according to health officials.
Authorities have registered 32 cases since the start of the year, with the majority of those affected below the age of 15, said a report in the Gulf Daily News (GDN), our sister publication.
Another 30 suspected cases have been recorded since last week, but all tested negative.
Doctors yesterday urged parents and school officials to ensure youngsters have taken the mumps, measles and rubella (MMR) vaccine as part of precautionary measures that include the screening of school students.
“We have registered 32 cases of measles in Bahrain of which 27 were among children under 15 years and five among adults,” said Health Ministry primary care and public health assistant undersecretary Dr Mariam Al Jalahma.
“Of the total, 14 cases were detected among non-Bahrainis.”
She revealed 18 patients required treatment at Salmaniya Medical Complex (SMC), King Hamad University Hospital and other medical facilities and have since been discharged.
The source of the outbreak is said to have come from a girl attending a government school in Muharraq, who contracted the infection during a trip to India.
“It is not a widespread epidemic, but we would like to highlight the patient got the infection outside Bahrain,” said Dr Al Jalahma.
Health authorities became aware of the case on January 19.
“This student was the source of the infection spread as we conducted strict surveillance around the area and vaccinated children and adults to stop the outbreak,” said disease control section chief consultant Dr Adel Al Sayyed.
He confirmed the most recent case was registered on Thursday and around 30 more suspected measles infections were reported among locals and expatriates.
“There were also some sporadic cases reported in Muharraq, Manama, Hamad Town, Isa Town, Budaiya and some other parts of the country,” he said.
A vaccination drive in schools and residential areas was launched where the majority of cases have been reported, said public health consultant Dr Jaleela Jawad.
Anyone not vaccinated or unsure about their immunity who develops an illness with fever and rash should visit their nearest health centre or SMC.
The details were revealed during a press conference held at the ministry’s headquarters in Juffair, which was attended by public health directorate director Dr Mariam Al Hajeri. - TradeArabia News Service