The Ministry of Health and Wellness in Jamaica has advised travelers to make sure they are protected against measles if they plan to travel to countries known to be experiencing an outbreak of the contagious disease. One of the countries listed in the advisory is the United States. The alert was issued on June 14, 2018, and was based on data showing that between January to June 6, 2019, 1,022 cases of measles were identified in 28 of the 50 states in the US. Individuals who experience fever and a rash following a visit to a country that is known to have cases of measles are required to contact their health care providers to make a visit to a health center right away. Although the region of the Americas has seen a recent outbreak of measles, no cases of the disease have been reported in Jamaica.
According to Dr. Jacquiline Bisasor McKenzie, the chief medical officer of Jamaica, the only way to prevent the spread of measles is through vaccination. Dr. McKenzie said that the Jamaican Health Ministry has urged parents and guardians of children to cooperate fully with requirements and ensure that their children get two doses of the vaccine, particularly prior to traveling to countries that have reported cases of the disease.
In Jamaica, the vaccine is provided at no cost to children, and parents who are not sure of the vaccination status of their children are advised to contact their health care providers. The Health Ministry is also reminding parents who plan to travel to locations known to have yellow fever outbreaks that vaccines against that disease are required for travel. The nations known to require official certifications of vaccination or Prophylaxis include Angola, Burundi, Central African Republic, Congo, Cote d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, French Guiana, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Sierra Leone, Suriname, and Togo.