../ Epidemiological situation of measles in Romania

Credit Photo Illustration by Simona Ivana

By Simona Ivana / Oct. 8, 2018

Epidemiological situation of measles in Romania

Measles is an airborne disease. It spreads easily through the coughs and sneezes of infected people or through contact with saliva or nasal secretions.

Measles is caused by a virus of the genus Morbillivirus within the Family Paramyxoviridae.

Some people think of measles as just a little rash and fever that clears up in a few days, but measles can cause serious health complications, especially in children younger than 5 years of age.

Some of the more common measles symptoms include: fever, rash, runny nose, red eyes.

It is so contagious that if one person has it, 9 out of 10 people around him or her will also become infected if they are not protected.

The parents have the power to protect theirs children against measles by vaccination.

Romania introduced routine measles vaccination in May 1979, with an imported live attenuated Schwarz measles vaccine administered to children aged 9-15 months through biannual campaigns held in public clinics.

In 1981, the Cantacuzino Institute in Bucharest, in collaboration with the Pasteur Institute France, began producing live attenuated Schwarz measles vaccine.

In a report, on the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), the following countries have reported the highest number of measles virus cases in 2018: Romania (4,317); France (2,588); Greece (2,238); Italy (1,716).

To stop measles transmission and protect those most vulnerable, especially infants, it has been advised that at least 95% of the population needs to be vaccinated with two doses of a vaccine comprising measles.

The risk of death is usually 0.2%, but may be up to 10% in people with malnutrition. Most of those who die from the infection are less than five years old.

The measles virus is highly contagious and lives in the nose and throat mucus of an infected person.

This infection can spread through sneezing and coughing, which can then remain contagious for up to two hours on an infected surface.

Three to five days following the initial so-called ”flu-like symptoms”, the common red-spotted rash of measles manifests and the fever spikes.

There are a number of serious health complications including pneumonia and encephalitis.

The ECDC concluded in its report: ”The continued circulation of measles in the region stresses the importance for people to be vaccinated with two doses, to protect themselves and their families.”

The measles vaccine is effective at preventing the disease, and is often delivered in combination with other vaccines.

Antibiotics may be used if a secondary bacterial infection such as pneumonia occurs. Vitamin A supplementation is also recommended in the developing world.

In 1981, the Cantacuzino Institute in Bucharest, in collaboration with the Pasteur Institute France, began producing live attenuated Schwarz measles vaccine.

Credit Photo Illustration by Simona Ivana