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  HOME | Brazil (Click here for more)

Brazil Opens Nationwide Vaccination Campaign against Polio, Measles

RIO DE JANEIRO – Brazil began a nationwide vaccination campaign on Monday in an effort to tackle the recent polio and measles outbreak, the Health Ministry said.

The campaign – which will go on until Aug. 31 – aims to keep already eradicated diseases in Brazil from sprouting again.

Parents are urged to take their children between the ages of 1-5 to any of the country’s healthcare centers to be vaccinated.

The government’s goal is to immunize at least 11.2 million children, or 95 percent of the targeted age cohort, according to World Health Organization recommendations.

Children who have already been vaccinated are to receive boosters.

In 2016, Brazil was certified as free of the virus that causes measles by the Pan-American Health Organization.

According to Health Ministry figures, as many as 1,053 confirmed cases of measles had been recorded in Brazil as of Aug. 1, most of which have occurred in the northern states of Amazonas and Roraima, at the border with Venezuela.

All cases have been found to be imported from Venezuela, as it was confirmed that the virus circulating in Brazil is the same strand as the one prevalent in its northern neighbor, the ministry said.

Polio, on the other hand, is caused by a virus that lives in the intestine.

Nearly 1 percent of polio victims develop the paralytic form of the disease, which may result in permanent damage, respiratory failure and, in some cases, even death.

According to the ministry, Brazil has been polio-free since 1990 and in 1994 the WHO certified the country as free of the virus.

 

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