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WHO ranks Estonia among countries to eliminate measles, rubella

A baby being vaccinated in a doctor's office. Photo is illustrative.
A baby being vaccinated in a doctor's office. Photo is illustrative. Source: (Priit Simson/Postimees/Scanpix)

The World Health Organization (WHO) has listed Estonia among the countries which have eliminated endemic measles and rubella.

Elimination means that no dissemination of the infectious agents of these diseases or new endemic incidences thereof have been detected in at least three consecutive years, the Estonian Health Board said.

Spokespeople for the Health Board said that no endemic incidences of measles or rubella were registered in Estonia from 2014-2016. On six occasions, people who had come in contact with measles in another country brought it back to Estonia with them, but due to prompt detection, information and inpatient treatment, none of these cases resulted in the disease spreading within Estonia.

Under the Estonian vaccination calendar, children are vaccinated against measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) at ages 1 and 13. Despite this, the WHO highlighted that MMR vaccination coverage among children under two years of age in Estonia has been lower than the necessary 95 percent for the past three years; the ratio was 93 percent among two-year-olds and just 91.5 percent among 14-year-olds last year.

In 2016, a total of 7,481 children in Estonia aged 2-14 were not vaccinated against measles, mumps and rubella.

Editor: Aili Vahtla

Source: BNS

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