Monday, 20 August 2018 | News today: 22

Measles outbreak reported in Debar

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An outbreak of measles has been reported in the town of Debar. According to the Institute for Public Health of Macedonia, all of the 17 measles cases in Debar share an epidemiological link, having been found in 16 locals and an Ohrid citizen who commutes to Debar daily.

As regards their age, eleven patients are older than 30, three are between 20 and 29, one is between 15 and 19, one is between 1 and 4, and one person is less than a year old.

As regards their ethnicity, ten are Roma, four are Albanian, two are Turkish, and one is Macedonian. Nine of them are males, and eight are females.

Nine of the measles-infected persons said they had received a single dose of the MMR vaccine. Three persons had been vaccinated with two doses. Four were unvaccinated, and one person has an unknown vaccination status.

The Institute for Public Health of Macedonia has given informational and instructional handouts to local healthcare providers (family physicians and pediatricians) and day care centers. The IPH has also made public service announcements in local media to inform, advise and instruct the population on how to protect themselves from the disease.

The IPH’s website warns people planning summer travel, particularly to destinations where measles outbreaks are common, to consider the health risks if they or their children have not been vaccinated. Getting immunized before travel helps protect everyone, including people who are immunosuppressed and babies too young to be immunized.

Since the beginning of 2018, 28 cases of measles have been reported in Macedonia.