Measles outbreak kills 30 in Romania

June 23, 2017

A measles outbreak affecting several European countries has killed 30 people in Romania, most of them children, health authorities in Bucharest said on Friday.

More than 7,200 people in the European Union's second-poorest country have contracted the illness since late 2016, Romania's contagious disease monitoring centre said.

There was also a 31st suspected fatality.

The respiratory disease, characterised by high fever and small red spots, usually triggers only mild symptoms, but it remains one of the leading causes of death among young children globally.

The World Health Organisation recommends two doses of vaccination, the first by a child's first birthday, to ensure immunity and prevent outbreaks, saying they should cover 95 percent of the population.

But in Romania, due not only to poverty but also a lack of vaccines and poor access to health care, the rate is only 80 percent for the first shot and 50 percent for the second.

The Romanian government is currently pushing through legislation that would make vaccination obligatory in order for children to be allowed to go to school.

Compounding the problem, a growing number of parents are refusing to have their children immunised with religious groups and public figures also launching anti-vaccination campaigns.

The WHO warned in March about a rising number of measles cases in Europe, with the largest outbreaks in Romania and Italy. France, Germany, Poland, Switzerland and Ukraine were also affected.

On Thursday a six-year-old boy with leukaemia died from measles in Italy. He had an 85-percent chance of being cured of his leukaemia but his parents refused to have him vaccinated for measles, Italian authorities said.

They said that at least 3,074 measles cases have been recorded this year, 40 percent of whom had to be hospitalised. The WHO said on Tuesday that 43 percent of cases in Europe were in Italy.

Explore further: Measles outbreak in Romania has killed 17 children

Related Stories

Measles outbreak in Romania has killed 17 children

March 12, 2017
A measles outbreak in Romania has killed 17 children and infected thousands more since September due to poverty and an anti-vaccination movement, local media reported Saturday.

WHO warns of measles outbreak across Europe

March 28, 2017
The World Health Organization warned Tuesday of large measles outbreaks in countries where immunisation has dropped, after more than 500 cases of the highly contagious disease were reported across Europe in January.

Measles cases triple in Italy as parents shun vaccine

March 17, 2017
The number of measles cases in Italy has tripled this year, largely because parents are not getting children vaccinated due to spurious health scares, the health ministry said Friday.

Italy has introduced mandatory vaccinations – other countries should follow its lead

June 2, 2017
In the first four months of this year, around 1,500 cases of measles were reported in Italy. As a response to the outbreak, the Italian government introduced a law making 12 vaccinations mandatory for preschool and school-age ...

Italy makes childhood vaccinations compulsory

May 19, 2017
Italy's government on Friday declared a new law making a series of childhood vaccinations a condition of school inscription in a move triggered by a spike in measles cases.

Measles prevention—how to pull the trigger for vaccination campaigns?

October 11, 2016
Measles is an extremely contagious disease that can cause serious health outcomes in children. Routine vaccination has greatly reduced measles deaths in recent years, but very high vaccination coverage is needed in all countries ...

Recommended for you

Lung-on-a-chip simulates pulmonary fibrosis

May 25, 2018
Developing new medicines to treat pulmonary fibrosis, one of the most common and serious forms of lung disease, is not easy.

Reconstructing Zika's spread

May 24, 2018
The urgent threat from Zika virus, which dominated news headlines in the spring and summer of 2016, has passed for now. But research into how Zika and other mosquito-borne infections spread and cause epidemics is still very ...

Tick bite protection: New CDC study adds to the promise of permethrin-treated clothing

May 24, 2018
The case for permethrin-treated clothing to prevent tick bites keeps getting stronger.

Molecular network boosts drug resistance and virulence in hospital-acquired bacterium

May 24, 2018
In response to antibiotics, a gene regulation network found in the bacterium Acinetobacter baumannii acts to boost both virulence and antibiotic resistance. Edward Geisinger of Tufts University School of Medicine and colleagues ...

Past use of disinfectants and PPE for Ebola could inform future outbreaks

May 24, 2018
Data from the 2014 Ebola virus outbreak at two Sierra Leone facilities reveal daily usage rates for disinfectant and personal protective equipment, informing future outbreaks, according to a study published May 24, 2018 in ...

Early lactate measurements appear to improve results for septic patients

May 24, 2018
On October 1, 2015, the United States Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a bundle of recommendations defining optimal treatment of patients suffering from sepsis, a life-threatening response to infection ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.