Confirmed case of measles on Guam

by Dept. of Public Health and Social Services
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The Department of Public Health and Social Services (DPHSS) received laboratory confirmation on a case of measles (rubeola).  The patient is a 10 month old child without travel history but with an epidemiological link to visitors from Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia to Guam. 

Measles is a highly contagious viral disease. It is primarily spread by person to person contact via large respiratory droplets.  Symptoms are characterized by a generalized rash lasting 3 days or longer, with fever (101⁰ F or higher) and cough, or coryza (runny nose), or conjunctivitis (red eyes).

It would be advisable for persons traveling to Pohnpei in July to attend the 8th Micro Games to ensure they have been vaccinated for measles (given in combination with the mumps and rubella vaccines) 2 weeks before departing.

The DPHSS is encouraging pregnant women to protect themselves and parents to protect their infants and young children by minimizing exposure (close contact) to persons who have a rash-like illness and cold symptoms. The current recommendations from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are:

  • Children should receive two doses of Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR) vaccine, with the first dose given at 1 year of age or older and dose #2 given between 4-6 years of age.
  • All persons born during or after 1957 should have documentation of at least one dose of MMR vaccine given on or after the first birthday.

All health care providers on Guam are urged to be on alert for possible cases of measles and to promptly report suspect cases to the Immunization Program, Bureau of Communicable Disease Control, at 473-7143 or 473-7160.  Furthermore, all health care providers are urged to review and update the immunization status of all patients they see.  If vaccination is contraindicated because of illness, a follow-up appointment should be scheduled to update vaccination as soon as the illness is over.

For more information, please call the Department of Public Health and Social Services’ Immunization Program at 735-7143.

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