Costa Rica had been measles-free for five years, until Feb 18, when visiting French tourists took their unvaccinated five-year-old son to a doctor to investigate a “rash” that turned out to be measles — the boy’s mother was also unvaccinated.
The boy’s French classmates have also experienced a measles outbreak. It’s not clear why the boy and his mother were not vaccinated. The boy is being kept in medical quarantine.
Many countries will not admit tourists without a certificate of yellow fever vaccination; given the number of rich-world people who have decided to expose themselves and their neighbors to the risks of other preventable illnesses by eschewing vaccination, perhaps poor countries should institute a policy of turning away visitors who have not received the MMR and other vaccines.
The health ministry issued a statement saying: “Our country enjoys very good vaccination coverage in general. However, in order to avoid particular cases and their possible complications, it is important that those in charge of minors ensure that children have the complete vaccination scheme.
Measles returned to Costa Rica after five years by French family who had not had vaccinations [Adam Lusher/Independent]
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