Vacationers urged to check vaccination statusPOSTED: 05/27/11 1:48 PM
GREAT BAY– People in the midst of planning a summer vacation are being urged to get vaccinated on May 28 at the Youth Health Care’s (YHC) annual vaccination open house. This could help especially people heading to Europe where there is a measles outbreak.
Measles outbreaks have been reported in the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Belguim, France, Spain, Denmark, Germany, Norway, Switzerland, Serbia, Bulgaria and Turkey. People traveling to any of the affected European countries, should get the shots as a safeguard for themselves and their family. Parents and guardians must ensure that their children are protected because unprotected children are at greatest risk of contracting the virus.
Measles is caused by a virus which normally grows in the cells that line the back of the throat and lungs. It is a human disease and not known to occur in animals. The first sign of measles is usually a high fever which begins about 10 to 12 days after exposure to the virus from a measles case. A runny nose, cough along with red and watery eyes and small white spots inside the cheeks can develop in the initial stage followed by a rash on the face and upper neck.
People returning from Europe who experience a sudden high fever accompanied by a rash should seek medical attention immediately by going to their family physician. Endemic measles has been eliminated in the Americas, with the last case reported in 2002. For the Caribbean, this year marked the 20th anniversary without an indigenous case of the measles.
“Immunization is a way of protecting children against serious vaccine preventable diseases. Once a child or an adult has been fully vaccinated, their bodies can fight those diseases if one comes into contact with them,” a release from the Department of Communications stated.
The Open House will take place at YHC offices at the Vineyard Office Park, W.G. Buncamper Road #33 in Philipsburg from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. YHC can also be contacted if you want to verify your own vaccination status by calling Tel. 542-3003, 542-2078 or 542-3553
Parents who attend the open house on Saturday should bring along their child’s vaccination booklet/card. If you are not sure of the vaccination status of your child, you should contact your general practitioner, pediatrician, or YHC for children up through 17 years of age.