In October this year, the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) announced its report on epizootic monitoring of 13,547 measles cases registered between 12 months from 1 September last year and 31 August this year for the European Union (EU) and the European Economic Area (EEA) .
Measures for measles in the last 12 months have been reported by all EU and EEA countries. Most often Greece is 3171, followed by France with 2792 cases, Italy with 2718, Romania with 1765, and the United Kingdom with 1007 cases. During this period, 38 cases of mortality related to measles were also reported in the Member States, Arja added.
In Latvia, the SPKC reported 65 cases of measles suspected, but the diagnosis of "measles" was approved in 23 cases since December 18 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 by a bite. Overall, there are likely to be nine infections outside Latvia, including two foreigners.
As the SPKC representative points out, measles outbreaks are associated with a decrease in coverage by vaccination.
"Science and practice have shown that in order to avoid measles outbreaks, at least 95% of the population must be vaccinated with two doses of the vaccine," Arja explained.
She reminded that measles are an extremely contagious disease because the measles virus is easily dispersed between susceptible individuals through droplets and direct contact. Larvae are spreading through air drops and direct contact. Burden can be a very serious illness because it occurs in serious complications, especially in children under 5 years of age, adults over 20 years, people with immunodeficiency and pregnant women.
The SPCC has emphasized that the only effective protection against measles is vaccination that is safe and effective. For vaccination, a combined measles, rubella and epidemic mumps (MPR) vaccine are used. Maximum protection requires two doses of the vaccine. Subsequently, in Latvia and other countries, the vaccination schedule for children provides two MPRs. The first child will be given a child aged 12-15 months, but will grow stronger in Latvia at the age of seven.
According to Arga, with a special risk of infection, such as when planning a trip with a child to a measles-affected country and contact with a measles vaccine, it is recommended that the first gift be given before reaching the age set in the vaccination calendar, ie from six years of age. However, at the age of 12-15 months, pots should be repeated, and vaccination vaccines should be made according to the vaccination schedule – seven years.
Epidemiologists of the SPKC have rated measles vaccination in children as fairly good and that is why there are years in Latvia where no case of measles has been reported.
At the same time, the SPCC calls on parents to review the status of the child's vaccination, especially when traveling on an international journey.
Analysis of SPCC immunization data shows that this year, compared to the 2017 period, immunization against measles, rubella, and epidemic mumps increased. Overall, in the first half of this year, the first MPR pots received 98.1% of children and 89.5% of children received the second.