Slovakia reports first case of measles

The 25-year-old Italian suffering from the disease studies in Košice.

The University Hospital of Louis Pasteur in KošiceThe University Hospital of Louis Pasteur in Košice (Source: TASR)

Slovakia registered its first case of imported measles. The patient was examined and is stable, said spokesperson for the Public Health Authority Zuzana Drobová.

“The regional public health authority in Košice was informed by the University Hospital of Louis Pasteur in Košice about the hospitalisation of a 25-year-old patient with permanent residence in Italy with a suspicion of measles,” Drobová told the Sme daily.

An Italian student who currently attends the Pavol Jozef Šafárik University in Košice, he was not vaccinated against measles, she added.

The student was probably infected in Novy Sad in Serbia, where he has been since March 27, specified the hospital’s spokesperson Ivana Stašková. He was hospitalised on April 7 and released 11 days later, she told Sme.

The beginning of the illness was serious as the student suffered from a high temperature and noncancerous liver disease, while he had a rash on his body. The doctors also examined all people he was in touch with, and their health condition is still being monitored. The respective authorities also checked all employees of the university hospital whether they were vaccinated against measles, Sme reported.

Read also:Vaccination is not about business, health minister says Read more 

Chief Slovak hygienist Ján Mikas meanwhile called an all parents who have not vaccinated their children yet to do so. They should visit their paediatrician and talk about the possibility. The call concerns mostly four-year-old non-vaccinated children in Bratislava, Trenčín, Banská Bystrica and Košice regions as the vaccination rate there is below 95 percent of the whole population.

Usually, children are vaccinated against measles between 15-18 months of age and then again when children are 11 years old. The vaccination against measles is compulsory. The vaccine used for this purpose is the MMR shot, which is also used to vaccinate against mumps and rubella. It belongs among the vaccines parents refuse the most, said child doctor Miluša Džupinová from Prešov. The reason is that they are afraid of some harmful effects, Sme reported.

Currently, the countries which are suffering from a high number of measles cases is Italy and Romania, with 1,020 and 1,955 reported cases, respectively. From Romania, the disease spread also to Hungary where 52 cases were reported in mid-March, Sme wrote.

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