Health advisory on measles

1.            Measles is a highly infectious disease that is found in many countries, including Singapore. In January 2014, the Philippines announced measles outbreaks in a number of cities in Metro Manila and in Pampanga. In Singapore, 23 cases had a travel history to the Philippines in 2014 (as of 5 April). This is in addition to 49 local cases reported during the same period. Half of the local cases were young children who had missed their vaccination.

2.            The best way to prevent measles is by vaccination. The MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccination is recommended under the National Childhood Immunisation Schedule (NCIS). Most Singaporeans have developed immunity either from vaccination, or through natural disease. Hence, the risk of a community outbreak of measles in Singapore is low.

3.            The Ministry of Health (MOH) advises parents to ensure that their young children receive two doses of MMR vaccination on time (first dose at 12 months and second dose at 15 to 18 months). Pre-school children who have missed their two doses of measles vaccination should also be vaccinated without delay.

4.            Other persons in the family, who have not been vaccinated against measles are advised to be vaccinated, especially if there is a baby being cared for at home. Persons travelling to the Philippines, including Filipinos living in Singapore who return to the Philippines for a home visit, are also advised to be vaccinated, if they have not been vaccinated against measles, or not had measles before.

5.            The MMR vaccination is available at polyclinics, private General Practitioner (GP) clinics, and private paediatric clinics (for babies and children).

6.            More details on measles and vaccination are available in the Annex. For further health-related enquiries, please contact the MOH General Line at 6325-9220 or email moh_info@moh.gov.sg.

Ministry of Health Singapore

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