The east continues its fight against measles

The infection remains within the Michalovce district, authorities say.

MMR vaccineMMR vaccine (Source: AP/TASR)

Five new measles cases have been reported in the Michalovce district (Košice Region) during the past week, increasing the number of cases to 243 in July.

“We are convinced that despite the increasing number of measles cases, the infection sources have been localised and that the spread of measles outside the affected areas has been moderated or stopped by the anti-epidemic measures such as isolation and vaccination of people at risk,” Dáša Račková, spokesperson for the Public Health Authority (ÚVZ), told the SITA newswire.

Though it cannot be said that the epidemic is on the ebb, the disease is staying in the Michalovce area and has not spread into the neighbouring districts. For now, all the measures that have been taken, including the declaration of a state of emergency and the ban on assembly, will stay in place until July 31, she added.

As well as Michalovce, the crisis team took the decision to extend the ban on assembly to the villages of Laškovce and Strážske on July 18.

Authorities still vaccinate people

Banning mass gatherings may help to stop the spread of the infection but it is important to keep vaccinating people living in the areas where measles have been reported, said chief hygienist Ján Mikas.

“We have recorded the most cases on Mlynská Street,” Mikas said, as quoted by the TASR newswire, adding that on July 17 there had been 103 cases so far.

Altogether 1,059 people living in the street, including 737 children, have been vaccinated. However, about 10 families still refuse the vaccination. If they continue to do so, the hygienists may either isolate or fine them, Mikas added for TASR.

Read also:Measles might spread further west Read more 

As for other localities, measles has occurred in Veľké Kapušany, Kapušianske Kľačany and Trhovište, where 875 people have been vaccinated, including 799 children.

The minimum age for children has been reduced from 15 to six months.

So far, the number of people hospitalised in the Michalovce hospital had reached 21 by July 18, while the total number of patients suffering from measles amounts to 243, said Štefan Zamba of the hospital.

“Altogether 190 patients have been hospitalised,” he added for TASR.

Of them, 85 percent are children and about one half of them are younger than two years of age. No patient has died yet, Zamba added.

Carrier disinfects buses

The bus company Arriva has also adopted measures to stop the spread of the infection in eastern Slovakia. It has disinfected the interior of all of its buses in the districts of Michalovce, Trebišov and Sobrance. Moreover, all drivers have received special disinfectants and the company has secured vaccination for them, said Simona Zápachová of the marketing department.

Arriva Michalovce runs 57 bus routes across the three districts, plus three lines in the city of Trebišov, TASR reported.

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