Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, 11 November 2016 – The Caribbean, and countries of the Americas, are first in the world to be declared free of local measles transmission.
This historic announcement was recently made by the International Expert Committee for Documenting and Verifying Measles, Rubella, and Congenital Rubella Syndrome Elimination in the Americas at the 55th Directing Council of the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO).
This means that children in the Caribbean are now less likely to be affected by measles, once they are vaccinated. Measles affects mostly children and is one of the most contagious diseases.
However, widespread use of the vaccine has led to a great reduction in measles cases in the Region.
“No local measles cases have been reported in the Caribbean Region since 1991,” stated Dr. C. James Hospedales, Executive Director, Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA). He warned however, that “we cannot become complacent, as measles still circulates in other parts of the world.” He went on to say “due to the high intensity of international travel related to the large tourism sector, the Caribbean region remains at high risk for the importation of measles and rubella cases.”
Between 1971 and 1979, more than 100,000 deaths in the Americas were attributable to the disease. Measles is transmitted by airborne droplets or via direct contact with secretions from the nose, mouth, and throat of infected individuals. It can cause serious complications including blindness, severe diarrhea, ear infections and pneumonia, particularly in children with nutritional problems.
Measles is the fifth vaccine-preventable disease to be eliminated from the Caribbean and countries of the Americas, after the regional eradication of endemic smallpox in 1971, polio in 1994, and rubella and congenital rubella syndrome in 2015.
Woman dies on Tuesday; 32nd Covid Death for Turks & Caicos
By Dana Malcolm
#TurksandCaicos, January 20, 2022 – The Turks and Caicos has recorded its 32nd death related to COVID-19.
The person, who we are told is a special needs young woman – was unvaccinated and had underlying medical conditions.
The death rate in the Turks and Caicos of both vaccinated and unvaccinated persons has climbed alarmingly this year. In the 21-month period from March 2020 when the country recorded its first case to December 2021, there were 26 deaths recorded in the TCI.
In the 19 days since the start of 2022 that number has increased to 32; which means six deaths already in January.
Cruising should slow down says PAHO
By Dana Malcolm
‘Slow down on Cruising’, that’s the word from the Pan American Health Organization, PAHO in their latest recent press conference.
“In the context of intense transmission, due to the Omicron variant as we have highlighted several times. It is just logical to suspend or at least limit the cruise ship traffic as an outbreak on board might end up exceedingly high and probably will go beyond the capacity of local health services”
Both the Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos are experiencing a massive uptick in cases and several warnings regarding cruise travel have been issued by the US Centers for Disease Control.
Cruising just resumed for many regional countries this past Summer, Turks and Caicos was among the latest to restart on December 13.
A stop to sailing would be devastating to economies, however, ports of call like Grand Turk which are reeling with rocketing case numbers of COVID are urged to consider the suggestion of slowing down on ships by PAHO.
Cayman gets its second ‘Sir’; former Premier Alden McLaughlin knighted on Jan 1
By Dana Malcolm
#Cayman, January 20, 2022 – Former Premier of Cayman Alden McLaughlin was knighted at the start of 2022; named in the Queen’s New Year Honors List. He is only the second Caymanian to have ever received a knighthood from her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
Current Governor, Martyn Roper extended congratulations saying, “This is an outstanding personal achievement for former Premier McLaughlin, one of the most important and impactful political leaders in Cayman over the last 21 years. It is a significant moment for our islands. This historic award is only the second ever Knighthood to a Caymanian since the first in the 1990s. It is a strong signal of the respect in which Cayman is held and a visible demonstration of the progress Cayman has made as a vibrant democracy with strong good governance foundations.”
Sir McLaughlin, who is also now a QC attorney, served two terms as premier and had a career in politics that spanned 21 years. McLaughlin is known for his role in modernizing Cayman’s constitution.
Current premier G. Wayne Panton described the occasion as a unifying moment for the country saying, This is a day of celebration and great pride for all Caymanians as a son of our soil has been bestowed one of the highest honour. Today marks a new and most unique storyline in the history of the Cayman Islands. In considering the rarity and magnitude of this occasion, this is certainly a unifying moment for our community.”
Sir Alden McLaughlin, 60, was appointed as a Knight Commander of the Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George on January 1, 2022.
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