Measles outbreak reported in Libya

Posted: 11/07/2018

11 July 2018 - RPS Partnership

For those travellers planning to work in Libya, we are advising you that there has been a measles outbreak, please see below for advice from our colleagues in Libya. Anyone requiring training to travel there may wish to consider attending our security and First Aid course. Our next Hostile Environment Training (HET/HEAT/HEFAT) course is 13-15 august 2018. Contact us for more information on [email protected]

Health Notice : Measles activity reported in Al Marj, Murqub, Murzuq, and Wadi al Hayaa, Libya, July 7.

Our advice is to confirm your vaccination and use basic health precautions.

The locations affected by this alert are:

  • Tripoli
  • Benghazi

This alert began 10 Jul 2018 20:29 GMT and is scheduled to expire 15 Oct 2018 23:59 GMT.

  • Event: Elevated measles activity
  • Affected Area: Al Marj, Murqub, Murzuq, and Wadi al Hayaa districts
  • Cases: 80
  • Period: June-July 2018
  • Transmission: Respiratory (coughing, sneezing, speaking)

Authorities report an ongoing outbreak of measles July 7 in select northern and southern districts of Libya, where at least 80 cases have occurred in recent weeks, representing a significant increase when compared to the eight cases identified during all of 2017. Affected areas include Al Marj and Murqub districts in the north, and Murzuq and Wadi al Hayaa districts to the south. This case count represents the most complete information available as of July 10.

Background and Analysis
Measles vaccination coverage in Libya is approximately 94 percent - high enough to prevent widespread activity, but not high enough to prevent sporadic outbreaks. An average vaccination rate of 92-95 percent is needed to prevent wider community transmission of measles. Libyan officials reported eight cases of measles during 2017 and 32 cases during 2016.

Measles is a highly contagious viral disease spread through airborne droplets created when an infected individual coughs, sneezes, or speaks. Infected individuals can also expose people around them by contaminating surfaces with secretions from the nose, mouth, and throat. Symptoms of measles typically appear seven to 21 days after exposure, but patients become contagious up to five days before symptoms appear. Such symptoms generally include fever, cough, runny nose, red eyes, and a red rash that begins on the face and spreads downward. Serious complications - including pneumonia - can occur, especially in children younger than five years old, adults older than 20 years old, and people whose immune systems are weakened by other acute or chronic health conditions.

Visit a doctor to ensure vaccination against measles or immunity through previous infection. Emphasise basic health precautions, especially frequent hand washing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. If you suspect measles infection, call ahead before visiting a doctor to prevent the spread of the disease at clinics or hospital.

Contact us for your travel requirements to Libya or other remote, diffcult or hostile locations on [email protected]

Information provided by our friends Janus Global Operations

Photo: Janus Global Operations

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