A 5-year-old unvaccinated French boy is suspected of reintroducing measles to Costa Rica five years after the country got rid of the disease.
The child entered the Central American nation with his family and stayed at hotels in Santa Teresa and San Jose during the holiday.
The 5-year-old and his parents, aged 35 and 30, were ‘placed in isolation’ in Puntarenas Hospital after a doctor was asked to examine the boy’s ‘rash’.
His mother, who is also unvaccinated, said the other kids in her son’s school had previously got measles.
A search is on for people the boy may have come into contact with including on the Air France Flight on February 18, at the hotels, and in his homeland, said health officials.
Costa Rica hasn’t reported a domestic case of measles since 2006. According to the Costa Rica star, the last imported case was five years ago.
Signs and symptoms of the infectious disease include coughing, fever, and rashes. Complications can result in blindness and pneumonia.
In 2018, there were over 7,000 cases reported across the American continent.
The measles vaccine prevented over 21 million deaths worldwide between 2000 and 2017, according to the World Health Organization.
Most children in developed countries are protected against the disease by the combined measles mumps and rubella vaccine.
However, there has been a growing movement against vaccinations. Anti-vaxxers spread misinformation that results in the reappearance of the potentially life-threatening disease.
Multiple countries like Venezuela, Russia, and Germany have had their measles elimination certificate withdrawn, according to a report in November.
A nation loses its measles elimination status when ‘the same type of virus has been circulating for more than 12 continuous months’.
Last year, European health leaders declared that the ‘elimination’ of the disease had been achieved in the UK.
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