Health Ministry declares measles epidemic nationwide / Nearly 2,000 cases registered in…


Health Ministry declares measles epidemic nationwide / Nearly 2,000 cases registered in 29 counties, about a third of them in Mures county / Map of cases

The Ministry of Health announced Tuesday evening that it has declared a nationwide measles epidemic, with 2,000 cases reported in 29 counties.

Health Minister Alexandru Rafila explained in a phone call to Digi24 that the declaration of an epidemic means that the earlier vaccination with the first dose will be done for a limited time – instead of administering it at the age of one year, it will be given to children aged 9-11 months.

„In view of the worrying increase in measles cases, as well as the high number of hospitalizations in pediatric and infectious disease wards of infected children, the Ministry of Health has declared a measles epidemic at the national level, in order to make it possible to vaccinate children between 9 and 11 months of age, as well as to catch up those who have not been vaccinated or whose vaccination schedule is incomplete,” the Health Ministry announced.

„At the moment, there are almost 2,000 cases nationwide in 29 counties,” the ministry’s statement said.

The National Centre for Surveillance and Control of Communicable Diseases (CNSCBT) of the National Institute of Public Health (INSP) states, however, in the report valid as of 1 December, that the total number of confirmed measles cases in Romania reported from 1 January 2023 to 30 November 2023 is 1,855, of which 192 cases were recorded in the last week of November.

Most cases were recorded in:

  • Mures – 628 (about one third of the total number)
  • Brasov – 339
  • Bucharest – 213
  • Cluj – 194
  • Giurgiu – 147

The Health Ministry states that it will run an information campaign for parents, together with family doctors, to improve adherence to the vaccination program.

Measles is an infectious disease that is easily transmitted, especially in unvaccinated children, and sometimes the course is serious and complications can occur.

Vaccination coverage with the first dose at the national level is 78% and with the second dose 62% of eligible children, a downward trend for more than 10 years.

The recent adoption of the National Vaccination Strategy aims precisely to eliminate these risks to public health caused by vaccine-preventable diseases, the Ministry of Health adds.

Measles is a highly contagious disease with severe complications: diarrhea (especially serious in infants), Otitis media, pneumonia, encephalitis, and death, according to the National Institute of Public Health.

Illness can be prevented by vaccination.

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