Friday , June 2 2023

A measles outbreak in Europe; Latvian residents are being vaccinated – Society and politics – News


The European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) reported in October this year's epidemiological surveillance report of 13,547 measles cases registered between 12 months from 1 September last year and 31 August this year for 28 European Union (EU) and European Economic Area (EEA) Member States.

For measles cases over the past 12 months, all EU and EEA countries have been reported. The most frequent reported by Greece is 3171, followed by France with 2792 cases, Italy with 2718, Romania with 1765 and Great Britain with 1007 cases. During this period, there were also 38 cases of death related to measles registered in the Member States, Arja added.

In Latvia, 65 cases of suspected measles have been reported to SPKC during this period, but the diagnosis of "measles" has been approved in 23 cases since 18 December last year, including six children.

Arah stressed that none of the ill children had been vaccinated against measles, but four of them had not reached the age of vaccination. In three cases, children are infected with bites during a trip. In total, nine infections are likely to occur outside of Latvia, including two foreign residents.

As the SPKC representative points out, measles outbreaks are associated with a decrease in vaccination coverage.

"Science and practice have proven that in order to avoid measles outbreaks, at least 95% of the population must be vaccinated with two doses of vaccine," Arja explained.

She reminded that measles is an extremely contagious disease because the measles virus spreads easily between susceptible individuals through air droplets and direct contact. The larvae spread through air droplets as well as by direct contact. Burden may be a very serious disease, as it occurs with severe complications, especially for children under five, adults over 20 years of age, those with immunodeficiency and pregnant women.

The SPCC emphasized that the only effective protection against measles is vaccination that is safe and effective. A combined vaccine against measles, rubella and epidemic mumps (MPR) is used for vaccination. Maximum protection requires two doses of vaccine. Consequently, in Latvia and in other countries, the vaccination calendar for children provides two MPRs. The first child gets a child at the age of 12-15 months, but a booster in Latvia is made at the age of seven.

According to Arga, with special risks of infection, for example, when planning a trip with a baby to a country affected by measles, and after contact with a measles patient, it is recommended that the first pot be taken before reaching the age specified in the vaccination calendar, that is, from the age of six. However, at 12-15 months of age, pots need to be repeated and booster vaccinations should be performed according to the vaccination calendar – seven years of age.

SPKC epidemiologists evaluate the vaccination against measles in children as comparatively good, and this is the reason why there have been years in Latvia when no case of measles was registered.

At the same time, the SPCC invites parents to reassess the child's vaccination status, especially when traveling on an international trip.

Analysis of SPCC immunization data shows that this year, from January to June, immunization against measles, rubella and epidemic mumps has increased compared with the corresponding period in 2017. In total, in the first half of this year, 98.1% of children received the first MPR pots and 89.5% of the children received the second.

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