measles
A nurse uses a syringe to prepare an injection of the combined Measles Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccination at an MMR drop-in clinic at Neath Port Talbot Hospital near Swansea in south Wales on April 20, 2013. Public health officials said on April 19 they were investigating the first suspected death from measles in Britain in five years, after an outbreak blamed on a campaign against vaccinations. More than 800 people have contracted the highly contagious disease in Wales in the past six months, centred around the southern city of Swansea. Marion Lyons, director of health protection for Wales, said it had now been confirmed that a 25-year-old man from Swansea who died on April 18 had measles, a full postmortem will be conducted to determine cause of death. AFP PHOTO / GEOFF CADDICK

Measles hits ČR; people in their 40s at risk

Highly contagious disease can be dangerous to those whose immune system is weak

Prague, July 28 (ČTK) — Measles, the once-eradicated and almost forgotten child disease, has resurfaced in the Czech Republic, attacking not only kids but also adults, mainly people in their 40s, daily Mladá fronta Dnes (MfD) writes today.

In the Ústí region, north Bohemia, doctors are even talking about a possible epidemic among adults, the paper writes.

Measles is yet another disease that is returning after a lull. The first one was whooping cough, which reappeared a couple of years ago, the daily writes.

“Our daughter has never been vaccinated against measles. At the age of one and a half, she was given a different vaccine by mistake. She has probably caught the disease from other unvaccinated kids now,” said the mother of a girl who attends a Prague kindergarten where several kids fell ill with measles this summer.

“The doctor believed it was a food allergy, but I recognized the measles, which is hard to mistake for anything else. I had measles myself a long time ago,” the mother told the daily.

People in their 40s, however, fell ill with measles far more often.

“This is because people born between 1968 and 1976 received only one dose of the vaccine [as babies], while only later it turned out that one is not enough, but that two dozes are needed,” Radomíra Limberková, from the National Measles Reference Laboratory, told the paper.

People in the group above have a lower level of anti-bodies preventing measles’ outbreak, she said.

In addition, the number of foreigners who come to the Czech Republic from the countries where no vaccination against measles is used has been growing.

“This applies to neighboring Germany, for example. They let a wave of the disease go over now and then,” Limberková said.

This causes a part of the population to fall ill, but it simultaneously strengthens the nation’s natural immunity, she added.

Measles is a highly contagious disease that spreads quickly. Unlike rubella, it does not jeopardize pregnant women or their babies. However, it is dangerous for people with weak immunity and for those who are weakened by another illness, Limberková said.

If someone has had measles, they subsequently have lifelong immunity.

Those who have not been vaccinated appropriately and want to avoid the disease can apply for vaccination, which costs about 800 Kč.

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