CNMI at risk of measles outbreak - health official

4:05 pm on 8 January 2020

A public health expert is warning that the Northern Marianas is at risk of a measles outbreak.

Saipan in the Northern Marianas.

Saipan in the Northern Marianas. Photo: Supplied

Warren Villagomez, who is the public health and hospital emergency preparedness programme director, said due to its proximity to countries harbouring the disease, the CNMI was vulnerable to such an outbreak.

Outbreaks had occurred in the Philippines, Guam, Americas Samoa, and Samoa, with the latter having recorded more than 80 deaths and close to 6000 cases since October 2019.

However, Mr Villagomez pointed out the CNMI had a high vaccination rate and the Department of Public Health was working to maintain that.

Health authorities were also devising an action plan similar to those used for prior viruses that have threatened the CNMI, such as Ebola.

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