The Indonesian Health Ministry has issued a statement in response to a travel warning issued by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for Americans travelling to Indonesia on a possible measles outbreak. The Health Ministry has cooperated with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the CDC to monitor the spread of measles in Indonesia.
Health Ministry data shows that almost 100% of children across the archipelago have received measles vaccination up to 2013. The data also show that the number of deaths caused by measles has dropped by 87%, from 10 300 cases in 2000 to less than 2000 in 2012.
Following the report of measles in 5 Australian tourists returning from Bali in November 2013, an investigation was conducted in several community health centers in Bali, close to where the Australian tourists had stayed. The investigation found nothing remarkable with regard to measles cases; data showed no measles outbreaks recorded throughout September or October 2013. The investigation also showed that the Australian tourists had no contact with measles cases during their stay in Bali.
Although no cases of measles were found in the area, the local authorities have taken precautionary measures. The surveillance programme will continue, and Bali's health agency has been advised to take precautionary measures and report to the ministry should there be anything unusual in the area.
Advice for Travellers
Indonesia and Bali are very popular tourist destinations and visitors to Bali will be in close contact with other tourists from Europe, Australia the US and other countries. Measles is highly infectious and many areas including the UK, other European and western countries are reporting cases and outbreaks.
The source of infection has not been identifed in travellers returning from Bali but all travellers should ensure that they are protected against measles.