In October, the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) announced an epidemiological monitoring report of 13,547 cases of measles recorded for 12 months from September 1 to August 31 last year in 28 Member States of the European Union (EU) and the European Economic Area (EEA).
All EU and EEA countries have reported cases of measles in the past 12 months. The most frequent notifications in Greece are 3171, followed by France 2792 cases, Italy 2718, Romania 1765 and United Kingdom 1007 cases. During this time, deaths related to measles in 38 Member States occurred, Arja added.
In Latvia, 65 deaths have been reported to SPKC during this time, but measles diagnosis has been approved in 23 cases since 18 December last year, including six children.
Arah stressed that none of the sick 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 the trip. A total of nine infections are likely to occur outside Latvia, including two foreigners.
As emphasized by the SPKC's representative, measles outbreaks involve a reduction in vaccine coverage.
"Science and practice have shown that at least 95% of the population must be vaccinated with two doses of vaccine to avoid measles epidemics," Arja explained.
He recalled that measles is a highly contagious disease because the measles virus spread easily through sensitive individuals through air bubbles and direct contact. The throats spread through air drifts and with direct contact. Pregnancy can be a very serious illness because it occurs with serious complications, especially in adults less than five years of age, over 20 years of age, immune deficiency and pregnant women.
SPCC stressed that the only effective protection against measles is vaccination that is safe and effective. Vaccination is combined with vaccine against measles, rubella and epidemic mumps (MPR). The highest protection requires two doses of vaccine. Thus, in Latvia and other countries, the vaccination calendar for children offers two MPRs. The first child gets a child at 12-15 months of age, but in Latvia it becomes more effective at the age of seven.
According to Argan, with the particular risk of infection, for example when planning a trip with a baby to measles and after the measles has been in contact, it is recommended that the first pot is taken before the age limit indicated in the vaccine calendar, ie six years of age. However, pots of 12 to 15 months of age must be repeated and booster vaccination must be performed according to the vaccination schedule – up to seven years of age.
SPKC epidemiologists estimate that the vaccine against measles is relatively good, and that is why Latvia has been in the country for several years when measles have not been registered.
At the same time, the SPCC urges parents to assess the child's vaccination status, especially on the way to an international trip.
The analysis of SPCC immunization data shows that this year, from January to June, measles, rubella and epidemic mumps vaccination has increased compared to the corresponding period in 2017. In total, in the first half of the year, 98.1% of children received the first MPR and 89.5% the children got another.