MONDAY, JUNE 18, 2018

Cayman Islands to be declared measles-free

According to the Cayman Islands' Public Health Department, the territory is measles, rubella and congenital rubella syndrome-free and is preparing to get the territory certified as a measles-free zone.
The territory has had no cases of rubella since 2001, no cases of measles since 1991 and no incidents of congenital rubella syndrome, which is passed from a mother infected with the rubella virus to a newborn baby during pregnancy, since 1996, Compass Cayman reports.
“Based on the documentation and verification, we are of the view that we have interrupted the occurrence of endemic measles and rubella viruses and subsequently, congenital rubella syndrome, in the Cayman Islands,” Medical Officer of Health Dr. Kiran Kumar said, according to Compass Cayman. “We are ready to submit our report to the Pan American Health Organization in order to get certified that these conditions are eliminated in Cayman."
Kumar said that 37 educational and health professionals from public and private sectors have verified that there have been no cases of these conditions in the Cayman Islands during the last decade and that a review of medical records showed no congenital rubella syndrome cases in the past five years.
In 1988, the Caribbean Community and Common Market ministers of health declared that indigenous measles should be eliminated in the Caribbean sub-region by 1995. The measles, mumps and rubella vaccine was introduced into the Cayman Islands' childhood immunization program in 1983. An audit of the records of children born in 2007 and 2008 showed that approximately 99 percent of Cayman Islands children are immunized with the MMR vaccine.