Solomon Island authorities announced that a proof of measles vaccination will be needed to enter the territory starting Saturday, December 28. The vaccination proof is required for all individuals who have traveled from or via Australia, New Zealand, American Samoa, Samoa, Fiji, Tonga, and the Philippines.
Travelers must be vaccinated at least 15 days prior to their arrival in the territory.
A measles outbreak is currently ongoing across the Pacific, affecting American Samoa, Australia, Fiji, New Zealand, Samoa, and Tonga. The measles epidemic prompted Samoan authorities to declare a nationwide state of emergency on November 17, effective through December 29.
Measles is a highly contagious viral disease that typically affects mostly children. It is transmitted via droplets from the nose, mouth, or throat of infected persons. Symptoms of measles are usually a high fever, which begins approximately ten to 12 days after exposure to the virus and lasts four to seven days. A runny nose, a cough, red and watery eyes, and small white spots inside the cheeks can develop in the initial stage. After several days, a rash erupts, usually on the face and upper neck. Over the course of about three days, the rash spreads, eventually reaching the hands and feet. The rash lasts for five to six days and then fades. On average, the rash occurs 14 days after exposure to the virus (within a range of seven to 18 days). A vaccine is available.
Individuals traveling to the Solomon islands are advised to confirm entry requirements, ensure proper documentation of vaccine certification, and consult their doctor regarding vaccination options.