Brazil completed this month a year without measles cases. With this, the country stopped the endemic circulation of the virus measles, reported this Tuesday (Jul. 26) the Pan American Health Organization/ World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO).
According to Brazil's Health Ministry, they expect WHO to declare measles eliminated from Brazil by the end of 2016. The WHO document recognizes the elimination of transmission of the disease throughout the Americas. The region will be the first in the world where this happens. In 2015, rubella was also considered eliminated.
The country's last cases of measles were recorded in July last year, during an outbreak in Ceará. At the time, PAHO/WHO contributed to the action investing $370,000 to support the costs of actions to control the outbreak and the recruitment of 165 nurses and nursing assistants. The initiative allowed the vaccination was done both in basic health units and in the homes of people living in the areas with the largest circulation of the virus of the disease.
Measles is normally transmitted through the air and direct contact. The infectious agent is a virus that infects mucous membranes and then spreads throughout the body, causing a severe and highly contagious disease.
Currently, measles is one of the leading causes of death among young children around the world. Around 114,900 people died from the disease in 2014, most of them children under the age of 5, which is equivalent to 314 deaths per day or 13 per hour.
As we get closer to the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, PAHO is reminding people who plan to attend the games to get vaccinated especially against measles and rubella at least two weeks before traveling. The Olympic Games are due to take place in Rio de Janeiro, from 5 to 21 August 2016, followed by the Paralympics from 7 to 18 September, 2016.
Translated by Amarílis Anchieta
Fonte: Agência Brasil.