Number of measles cases in Estonia this year up to 27 ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

Measles vaccine.
Measles vaccine. Source: ERR

A Ukrainian in Estonia was diagnosed with measles on Friday, bringing the total number of people diagnosed with measles this year to 27.

Health Board communications director Simmo Saar told ERR that the diagnosed individual is an adult. The individual was infected in Ukraine before traveling to Estonia, where the number of potentially exposed people remains under ten.

A total of 27 people have been diagnosed with measles in Estonia this year, and Saar noted that this was a very nigh number of cases for the first time in years.

"It may seem like, well, what is 27, but just a couple of years ago, we were a measles-free country," he recalled. "The World Health Organization (WHO) had declared that we had eradicated measles."

Measles vaccines have repeatedly run out in hospitals this year, but by now should once again be available at clinics to anyone interested. Availability of the vaccine is guaranteed for children, who receive the vaccine as part of the national immunization schedule, as well as those who have come in contact with an infected individual.

Early symptoms of measles include fever, malaise, cough, cold, conjunctivitis (pink eye) and sensitivity to light. After a few days, a signature rash will appear, beginning behind the ears and spreading to the face and neck before covering the rest of the body.

An individual infected with measles is contagious four to five days prior to and up to five days after the onset of the rash. The incubation period for measles is up to 21 days.

Children in Estonia are vaccinated at ages 1 and 13 with the MMR vaccine, which provides long-term  protection against measles, mumps and rubella.

Adults who only ever received one dose of the vaccine or who were vaccinated between 1980-1992 should get revaccinated.

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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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