Measles outbreak in Europe, children should be vaccinated says Dr. Ilias

Vaccination of children is recommended by the Director of the Pediatric Department of Makarios

Screenshot 1 32 vaccine, Europe, Measles

Vaccination of children is recommended by the Director of the Pediatric Department of Makarios Hospital, Dr. Avraam Ilias, in the midst of an outbreak of measles in Europe, noting, however, that no cases have been recorded in Cyprus in the last month.

The World Health Organization with today's announcement is sounding the alarm that measles cases across Europe continue to increase, putting millions of children at risk. It also points out that a rapid response to the measles outbreak is critical, as cases this year are expected to soon exceed the total number reported in 2023.

In Cyprus, around eight cases of measles were recorded three months ago "so there was a concern", said Dr. Ilias to KYPE. As he mentioned, it was mainly unvaccinated people, infants who did not have time to get vaccinated, while he said that in the last month we have not had any incidents.

He noted that the vaccination coverage in Cyprus is around 80% which is considered low since the World Health Organization considers vaccination beyond 95% of the population as a protective wall.

Dr Elias noted that the measles vaccine is a triple vaccine for measles, rubella and mumps which is given in two doses, at the age of 12 months and the second dose 3-4 months later. Children under 12 months cannot get the vaccine because of maternal antibodies.

"It is good to get the vaccine to protect children from getting sick because they can get sick and very seriously," he indicated.

The World Health Organization's recommendation, he continued, is to get the vaccine, which, he said, "is considered a safe vaccine."

Asked about it, Dr. Ilias said that the eight incidents in Cyprus happened three months ago by children who were unvaccinated, while now in the last month we have not had any incidents. He explained that it is one of the most common diseases of childhood, a highly contagious disease, which is transmitted very easily to sick people, that is, to people who have not been sick or vaccinated.

The disease can cause complications, he said, saying that the most serious is encephalitis, and the most common are acute suppurative otitis media and pneumonitis.

"The tactic of some parents not to vaccinate their children because the vast majority of other children are vaccinated is considered completely wrong," he noted.

He emphasized that children should be vaccinated with the first dose of the vaccine at the age of 12 months and then have a second dose 3-4 months after the first so that they are covered against measles as well as rubella and mumps.