A family of anti-vaxxer Christian missionaries from the United States is under a well-deserved quarantine after they brought measles to Costa Rica.
The 11-member family, including two parents and nine children, was placed under strict isolation orders after two of the kids tested positive for measles. Two others are still awaiting their test results, according to local reports.
In a press conference from the Presidential House the head of Health, Daniel Salas reported that the Costa Rican Institute for Research and Education in Nutrition and Health (INCIENSA) had confirmed that two children under 7 and 9 years old members of that family tested positive in measles, after receiving a few days ago the visit of another US citizen who showed symptoms of the disease.
The authorities confirmed that the 11 people of the family nucleus (father, mother and nine children) were unvaccinated, despite the fact that their home in Cóbano de Puntarenas was visited on three different occasions by Technical Assistants of Primary Health Care (ATAPS). In those visits no one was located inside the house and it was also confirmed that children between 1 and 17 years of age were not included in the Costa Rican Educational System, so they did not receive the vaccine during the periodic visit they made…
Minister Salas confirmed that the family has been living in Costa Rica for two years, they are missionaries and do not have social security. During the contagion period, they visited different locations in the Nicoya peninsula as well as in the province of Limón, forcing the authorities to expand the investigation to determine possible infections to other people without vaccination.
The Health Ministry believes the virus was imported to Costa Rica by a United States citizen who left the country March 12.
“There will not be an epidemic of measles in our country,” said Daniel Salas Peraza, the Minister of Health, citing the country’s vaccination initiatives. “But obviously, we don’t want any child to suffer from measles or face the complications measles can cause.”
Fortunately, Costa Rican authorities haven’t found any locals who came down with measles as a result of this family… yet. The country hasn’t had a domestic case of measles since 2006, and hadn’t had a case of imported measles since 2014 until last month when an unvaccinated French boy brought the disease.
This is part of a larger global trend when it comes to measles cases. Earlier this month, I reported that Iceland was facing its biggest measles outbreak in decades thanks to an unvaccinated visitor. And in January, anti-vaxx beliefs were labeled a top 10 health threat by the World Health Organization.
This is getting out of hand, and it’s all because vaccines are so effective that people are forgetting how terrible these diseases actually are. Well, now they’re getting a reminder.
Yours in Reason,