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El Salvador on alert for measles outbreak

San Salvador, Mar 3 (Prensa Latina) El Salvador is on alert for international outbreaks of measles epidemics, according to a report issued today by the Medical Association (Colmedes), which calls for preventive vaccination at home.

Although the disease has been eradicated in the country since 1996, the president of Colmedes, infectious disease specialist Iván Solano Leiva, called for immunization campaigns to help prevent infection.

The initiative responds to the latest epidemiological alert from the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO), according to which El Salvador is the country with the lowest vaccination coverage against the disease in children under two years old in the region.

According to estimates of the entity, the coverage of the first dose of Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) in children under two years old was 65 percent, and the coverage of the second dose was 58 percent, being one of the lowest in the area.

To avoid or reduce the risk of a measles emergency, at least 95 percent of the target population must be vaccinated, that is, at least 95 percent of children under two years of age must be vaccinated against this disease, Solano warned.