Measles return to Slovakia after 20 years

Other European countries face the problem too, mostly due to low vaccination rates.

The Michalovce hospitalThe Michalovce hospital (Source: Courtesy of Svet Zdravia)

Nearly 60 people, including two nurses, are the result of the latest measles epidemic that occurred in the district of Michalovce. Since it belongs among highly contagious viruses, it is possible the number will keep increasing.

SkryťTurn off ads
Article continues after video advertisement
SkryťTurn off ads
Article continues after video advertisement

“Due to the high infectiousness of measles and the transmission of the disease by air, more cases might occur in eastern Slovakia,” Daša Račková, spokesperson for the Public Health Authority (ÚVZ), told The Slovak Spectator

Measles have returned to Slovakia after nearly 20 years. The country reported an epidemic in from1997-1998, when altogether 1,149 people became sick.

SkryťTurn off ads

Non-observance of hygiene rules

At the time, the first cases occurred in early January 1997, probably due to the increased migration of the Roma population during the Christmas holiday. Part of the affected municipalities were Roma settlements and people living in bad hygienic conditions.

“The epidemic revealed that these were the municipalities with very low vaccination rates,” Račková said, adding that as a result, vaccination against measles was ordered to be checked, with a focus on the Roma.

Read also: Measles continue spreading in the east Read more 

Another epidemic occurred in the refugee camps in 2003.

Most recently, the first case of imported measles occurred in April 2017, related to a 25-year-old man living in Italy who was not vaccinated against the disease. The case was reported by the hospital in Košice.

SkryťTurn off ads

Another six cases were reported in Bratislava Region in December 2017, and then in May 2018. First, there were two people working in Austria, both living in Bratislava Region. Second were the cases from the Michalovce district, imported from the United Kingdom.

The rest of this article is premium content at
Subscribe now for full access

I already have subscription - Sign in

Subscription provides you with:
  • Immediate access to all locked articles (premium content) on
  • Special weekly news summary + an audio recording with a weekly news summary to listen to at your convenience (received on a weekly basis directly to your e-mail)
  • PDF version of the latest issue of our newspaper, The Slovak Spectator, emailed directly to you
  • Access to all premium content on and

Top stories

Friends drinking a kapurková shot.

Slovak Matters: Departures, even when drinking

The last column was dedicated to saying hello; now we go over the last word, whether saying goodbye or taking the customary last shot.

12 h
Filip Toška holding chard in the hydroponic Hausnatura farm.

How a Mayan doomsday prophecy took a Slovak to hi-tech agriculture

Hydroponic farm run out of former telephone exchange.

9. mar
Some Ukrainian students report being bullied due to their nationality. UNICEF works with schools so that they can provide a tolerant and respectful environment as well as activities that facilitate positive relationships and promote inclusion.

The silent toll of the war in Ukraine is on minds

Friends are essential for mental health, but only one in three Ukrainian children in Slovakia are currently enrolled in school.

20. mar
The price of 400 food products has been capped by eight retailers.

News digest: Retailers' move to make food more affordable

A group of old houses in Banská Štiavnica damaged by fire, Eduard Heger's new party, and 10 biggest tax debtors.

22 h
SkryťClose ad