The epidemiological situation in Brazil, which could not contain a new measles outbreak in recent weeks, puts Argentina in a threatening health context.
That is why the Secretary of Health of the Nation issued an alert for high risk of transmissibility and last Monday began the vaccination campaign against measles and yellow fever in the Triple Frontier.
Puerto Iguazú and Bernardo de Irigoyen, on the Argentine side, Ciudad del Este, in Paraguay, and Foz de Iguazú, in Brazil, are the places where the alert protocol was activated, with Brazil already registering four dead and more than 3,000 affected.
Thus, in Iguazú more than 2,000 doses of each vaccine were applied during the first week of the campaign, thus being able to reverse the low attendance of the first day.
The city is in an alert zone due to the border traffic that is registered in the area, since according to the data provided by the National Migration Directorate, 38 percent of the people entering the country are of Brazilian nationality, being the Tancredo Neves Bridge, the second most important border crossing in the country.
The exhibition puts the community at risk and that is why the vaccination campaign takes place in the cities of the three borders simultaneously seeking to form a sanitary cordon that prevents the disease from entering.
“The first day we had very little call, but the rest of the week the situation was different, we had a high call to the different Primary Health Care Centers (Caps),” said Lilian Kisiel, in charge of the Program Area of Marta Hospital Schwarz to The Territory.
He also said that “we are very satisfied and happy with the assistance, we also have promoters with vaccination posts on the ground that run through the neighborhoods and the citizen is aware that they should get vaccinated to care for their family.”
For their part, the health promoters said: “We believe that the first day the call was loose because everyone knew that the hospital was unemployed, but then began to approach.”
In this sense, Kisiel stressed that “we are focused on the campaign, on Saturday in the day of awareness about Alzheimer’s we were with a mobile post and many people came to apply the vaccine, we are satisfied with the call.”
Iguazú had 3,000 doses at the start of the campaign and there is also a booster in the town of Eldorado of 3,000 more doses of each vaccine, which are available if necessary, taking into account that the campaign runs until Friday 27 of September.
Also, the town of Bernardo de Irigoyen registered high spontaneous concurrence. María Elena Mereles, director of the Area Hospital, stressed that the good results are due to the fact that “the population became aware and have so far approached in a large percentage the vaccination posts, both in the hospital and in the central square, the border crossing and the Caps that depend on the hospital ”.
In this context, he explained: “We were working throughout the week -even Saturday- with very good results in the different vaccination posts. We have received the vaccines in a timely manner and enough for our population, so I don’t think they will be missing doses. ”
Finally, he said they will continue to work normally until the end of the campaign, “anyway our health promoters are always working and available both in the hospital and in the Caps and doing tours.”
The immunization is free, the neighbor must only present ID in the Caps or hospital, the dose is directed to the population that goes from the first year of life to 54 years. In the case of neighbors from localities that are not bordering with Brazil, they may still request the dose.
The Minister of Health of the Province, Walter Villalba, recommended to vaccinate “any child under 11 years who has not had two doses and those under one year who have not had at least one dose of the vaccine, try to complete the vaccination scheme and not to mention those who are going to travel to places where there is viral circulation such as San Pablo today ”.
He also stressed the importance of vaccinating all those people who work in the border area in places such as hotels, migrations, taxi drivers and medium and long distance buses and employees of shopping malls.
Finally, he said that pregnant women – a group that should not be vaccinated – are suggested to suspend the trip if they are scheduled to an endemic area.
Argentina free of movement
According to official data, so far this year almost three times more cases were reported than in 2018. In fact, in the first half of 2019, measles cases reported worldwide were the highest since 2006, with outbreaks that cause serious illness, disability and death in various parts of the world.
Currently in America, 33 of the 35 Member States of the Region report measles epidemiological surveillance data through various notification systems. According to the information provided by the countries, from January 1, 2019 until September 9 of the same year, 27,285 suspected measles cases were reported, of which 4,519 were confirmed. Until epidemiological week (SE) 36, Brazil and Venezuela reported 2,565 and 446 confirmed cases respectively.
In Argentina during the year 2019, until SE 35, 5 cases of measles were confirmed in adults with a history of trips abroad or in contact with travelers. Between ES 36 and 37, 7 cases of measles have been confirmed in 5 children and 2 adults.
However, it continues to be a country that managed to eliminate the endemic circulation of measles: the last indigenous cases were identified in 2000, but taking into account the global epidemiological situation and the mass transit of travelers to and from countries with viral circulation, there is high risk of importing cases and development of outbreaks if a person who is ill or who is incubating the disease enters the country.
Measles is a contagious viral disease that can have a serious or fatal course and cause permanent sequelae. It spreads easily when the infected person removes respiratory secretions by talking, coughing or sneezing. A person, by excreting the virus through saliva, can infect up to fourteen people.
The Ministry of Health of the Nation warns that the symptoms are characterized by high fever, runny nose, conjunctivitis, cough, rash on the face and neck that is spreading to the rest of the body, and the appearance of small white spots on the inner face of the cheek.