Of the three people recently diagnosed with measles, one is a midwife in East-Tallinn Central Hospital (ITK) it has been revealed. 40 patients and staff who came into contact with the woman have been asked to attend a screening for the disease.
The woman was infected by her sister who recently returned from Indonesia, Postimees reported. She had been vaccinated in her early childhood but those born until 1979 were only given one dose, which is not enough to provide lasting immunity.
The midwife was working in the maternity ward on December 4, when she felt ill and turned to ITK's infectious disease clinic. All patients and hospital staff who came into contact with her before the diagnosis was confirmed have been contacted and asked to call in at the clinic as well.
Measles is a highly infectious disease with an incubation period of one to three weeks. Children are usually vaccinated in Estonia at one and revaccinated at 13 years of age. Babies under six months are not vaccinated for they tend to inherit the immunity from their mothers for a certain period, if the mothers are immune. However, the disease is very dangerous for pregnant women.
There is no cure for the virus; doctors can only alleviate the symptoms. The disease can lead to complications like acute pneumonia, otitis media, and meningitis.
Editor: M. Oll