Split-Dalmatia County Warns about Possible Measles Epidemic

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“The risk has increased after a significant number of citizens travelled for the New Year’s holidays,” says the Split-Dalmatia County Public Health Institute.

The Split-Dalmatia County Public Health Institute warned on Thursday that, due to the epidemic of measles in Serbia, there was a high risk that the disease could also appear in the county, reports Jutarnji List on January 11, 2018.

The Department of Epidemiology of Infectious Diseases points out that, between October 2017 and 5 January 2018, 808 people in Serbia have been diagnosed with measles, and two patients have died of complications.

“The risk has increased after a significant number of our citizens traveled for the New Year’s holidays, which is why we want to warn citizens about an increased risk for measles infection for those people who have not been vaccinated, as well as about the possible risk of an epidemic among the children in our county, especially in the wider area of ​​Split,” said the head of the Vaccination Monitoring Department Milka Brzović.

Patients are advised to receive vaccination and to report to their elected physicians (paediatricians, school doctors, family doctors or epidemiologists), who will undertake the protection measures.

Head of the Department of Epidemiology of the County Public Health Institute Ivo Petrić said that his service had not recorded any cases of measles in the county lately, but pointed out that there were two cases in the spring 2017 and one case in 2016. Fortunately, there was no widespread epidemic. He reported that the percentage of vaccinated people in Split-Dalmatia County was between 60 and 70 percent, which is the reason why he was concerned about the possible spread of measles.

“Measles are a serious disease which starts abruptly with fever, headaches, tiredness, pains and later with rashes. Once the rash appears, it is very easy to diagnose the disease. Measles disturbs the immune system and are very prone to cause serious complications. The disease lasts for a long time, sometimes for several weeks. All those who have received a certain number of vaccination doses in childhood are protected. Until now, we have not had cases that people would become sick as adults, provided they had received regular vaccination as children. The only way to protect yourself from the disease is vaccination,” Petrić said.

Just like in many other countries, the anti-vaccination drive has been gaining strength in recent years in Croatia as well, with misinformed people trusting obscure websites which spread conspiracy theories more than physicians and thus preventing medical services from giving vaccines to their children.


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