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Unvaccinated French boy blamed for reintroducing measles to Costa Rica

Published on 26/02/19 at 10:35am
Image credit: Costa Rica... No artificial ingredients!

A French boy is suspected of reintroducing measles to Costa Rica after the country has been free of the infectious disease for five years.

The five year old unvaccinated boy was in Costa Rica on holiday with his parents. It is not clear as to why the boy had never received a jab for the highly contagious disease.

The news comes just weeks after the WHO listed vaccine hesitancy as one of the 10 major health threats of 2019.

The French Health minister Agnès Buzyn, last year made vaccinations against measles and 11 other diseases compulsory for children. Buzyn has focused on increasing coverage of vaccines. Vaccines are only compulsory for children born after 1 January 2018.

Neither the boy nor his mother had been vaccinated against measles. Meanwhile the father was not up to date with his vaccines.  

Costa Rica has not had a domestic measles case since 2006. The last recorded case occurred in 2014 when someone from another country brought in the disease.

The Costa Rican health ministry have said that 26 people are known to have come into contact with the boy.

“Our country enjoys very good vaccination coverage in general. However, in order to avoid particular cases and their possible complications, it is important that those in charge of minors ensure that children have the complete vaccination scheme,” the ministry said.

Louis Goss

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