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Measles Outbreak in Romania (Update)

09 Jan 2017

A media reportLink of 5 January 2017 advises that in December 2016 a total of 124 children with measles were admitted into Timisoara Hospital for Infectious Diseases in Western Romania. In 2016, the hospital treated a total of 364 measles cases.

In response the Romanian Health Ministry has changed their measles vaccine protocol, the vaccine which was previously given at age of 13 months; however it is now given at age 11 months.

The measles outbreak is attributed to increased numbers of parents refusing to vaccinate their children against the disease in recent years. The Romanian Health Ministry started a campaign to promote vaccination at the end of 2016.

Measles is a highly infectious viral illness; it may be more severe in teenagers and adults, and can sometimes lead to serious complications. Situations where people mix closely with each other provide the ideal place for the measles to spread.

Advice for Travellers

Young people who missed their MMR vaccines as children are vulnerable. It should be confirmed that children and young people have received their recommended doses of MMR at 12-13 months of age and again pre-school around 3 years 6 months. Unimmunised adults who have not had the disease themselves may consider vaccination if thought to be at risk.

Two doses of MMR vaccine are required to give adequate protection.