Greece measles outbreak update




In a follow-up on the Greece measles outbreak, 2345 measles cases have been notified in Greece since the beginning of 2017. Of this total, 1390 were laboratory confirmed, 795 are probable cases meeting the clinical criteria and epidemiological link with laboratory confirmed cases and 160 are possible cases meeting the clinical criteria.

Image/Keelpno
Image/Keelpno

The outbreak primarily affects Greek nationals in southern Greece. Many are young Roma children, as well as Greek adults aged 25-44 years old. Among them healthcare professionals who were unvaccinated or partly vaccinated.

Greek health officials say more cases are expected to be laboratory confirmed in the near future, and an increase of cases as well as spread in other geographical areas cannot be excluded.

Two deaths have been reported in laboratory confirmed measles cases. The first case concerned an 11-months old unvaccinated Roma infant, with underlying dystrophy, who died of septicemia. The second case concerned a 17-year-old unvaccinated Roma, who died of encephalitis. The third case is a 35-year-old female, from the general population, partially vaccinated as reported, who died of Pneumonia / Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS).

Vaccines: How they work and some common misconceptions

The recommended vaccination with the combined measles-mumps-rubella vaccine ( MMR vaccine ) in children, adolescents and adults who have not been vaccinated with the necessary doses. According to the National Vaccine Program, children, adolescents and adults who were born after 1970 and have no history of disease should be vaccinated with 2 doses of measles vaccine.

From 2016-2018,  more than 20,000 measles cases have been reported across Europe (30 EU / EEA Member States) and 57 deaths.

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