Costa Rica is seeing its first case of measles since 2014.
An unvaccinated French boy who was there on holiday with his family fell ill with the disease, as stated by the Costa Rica Ministry of Health.
The 5-year-old and his family entered Costa Rica on February 18th. He fell ill shortly thereafter and was taken to Monseñor Sanabria Hospital in Puntarenas, where he is being kept under strict quarantine.
According to the Costa Rica Star, he has since tested positive for measles and authorities are working to find everyone the boy may have come into contact with, including anyone who was on the same France Air flight.
The boy's parents have also since contracted measles.
The whole family remains under quarantine at Monseñor Sanabria Hospital. Authorities have begun to vaccinate those who came into contact with the family.
Health Minister Daniel Salas Peraza said:
"An epidemic is unlikely given our strong vaccination schemes, but there may be small outbreaks or secondary cases associated with this case. However, children under five are the most exposed, so we ask the population to go to the health services to get vaccinated."
There has been no reason given why the boy and his parents were unvaccinated.
It is worth bearing in mind that there are legitimate medical reasons for someone not to receive vaccines: allergies to vaccine ingredients or a compromised immune system among them.
Unfortunately, the world has also seen a significant rise in the number of people who believe that vaccines are unnecessary or even unsafe. Much of this stems from an unfounded belief that vaccines cause autism, which has been repeatedly and thoroughly disproven by the scientific community.
Twitter had no shortage of things to say about this incident.
Costa Rica is wicked tough about enforcing vaccinations. They literally will arrive at your house to vaccinate you… https://t.co/L05mHaWR0E— helenamania (@helenamania) 1551225889.0
@alexandralovesx If my dog wants to go kennels she needs to be vaccinated 🤷🏻♀️ News about the family who took the… https://t.co/g0QiYBKaAp— Rebecca Holland (@Rebecca Holland) 1551288745.0
The measles case imported to Costa Rica this week is a real illustration that a measles outbreak anywhere is a thre… https://t.co/HpTrxW17Aq— Seth Berkley (@Seth Berkley) 1551270300.0
So, French tourist brought measles to Costa Rica. https://t.co/O6F9Yqh8DX BTW, the government of Costa Rica does… https://t.co/fdRn0ROKyV— Connie here-for-Outlander Sandlin (@Connie here-for-Outlander Sandlin) 1551041868.0
@dwnews @jenshealthde Shouldn't the headline rather be "Negligent parents bring measles to Costa Rica"? The poor 5y… https://t.co/iJC4x4E6wD— Claudia (@Claudia) 1551011174.0
Many called for stricter guidelines surrounding vaccination, especially while traveling.
@AmarAmarasingam they really should start having proof of vaccinations for everything schools, flying, doctors visits, etc.— 🌺 Joanna 🌺 (@🌺 Joanna 🌺) 1551145041.0
@AmarAmarasingam We need Vaccination stamps on our passports, and if you don't have certain ones, you can't travel.… https://t.co/03lvrG2plg— Modha (@Modha) 1551181938.0
It should be compulsory to Vaccinate your Kids. Measles returned to Costa Rica after five years by a French family… https://t.co/pdB36fdMUU— Michael Brogan #JC4PM2019 #dangeroushero#GTTO (@Michael Brogan #JC4PM2019 #dangeroushero#GTTO) 1551272013.0
Some were surprised to learn that France wasn't as strict about vaccination as they had thought.
@AmarAmarasingam I am suprised by this. I wasn't able to register my kids for school when we lived in France, until… https://t.co/taipOU35Hq— Anna Asimakopulos (@Anna Asimakopulos) 1551182359.0
@AmarAmarasingam I thought the French were really rigid about getting ppl vaccinated. Long story but French doc tri… https://t.co/p6Vz4TtLLT— Chirag Mehta (@Chirag Mehta) 1551147683.0
@Laurie_Garrett Ecuador has vaccination points at the border because of measles in Venezuela, where lack of vaccina… https://t.co/1gcf2yKNB4— RR_Rs_ss (@RR_Rs_ss) 1551042620.0
Many also urged parents to get their children vaccinated.
@MohamedGhilan @GreatDismal Please get your kids vaccinated, it's become a world wide issue https://t.co/jlIHVJbjsB— Paul Garlow (@Paul Garlow) 1551167637.0
If you or your children have not received the requisite two doses of the MMR vaccine, please consider making an appointment with your doctor.
If you have concerns about the vaccine, your doctor can discuss them with you.
Measles is incredibly easy to spread and can have devastating consequences, especially for young people, pregnant women or those with compromised immune systems.