Measles on the rise in Prague

More cases have been reported this year than in the same time last year

Some 139 cases of measles have been registered in Prague since the beginning of the year, which is an increase over last year, which saw 103 cases by this time. Since the beginning of the measles outbreak at the start of 2018, there have been 242 confirmed cases in Prague. Anti-epidemic measures were applied against 2,037 people and 902 faced quarantine or medical supervision.

According to Prague hygienists, people who have been vaccinated with only one dose of the vaccine should have their immunity tested via a blood sample.

About one-third of people tested lack sufficient antibodies.

This mainly concerns people born from 1967 to the first half of the 1970s, according to the Prague Hygiene Station.

Furthermore, hygienists recommend a test for antibodies in persons whose loved ones have reduced immunity. “For example, if the person is undergoing cancer treatment.

People with immunodeficiency are more prone to all infectious diseases, including measles. Therefore, the environment of the oncological patient should be protected, and the patient cannot usually be vaccinated,” Prague Hygiene Station spokesman Zbyněk Boublík said.

New parents should also be tested for immunity. Small children are vaccinated in the Czech Republic only from the 13th month of age, while measles can have a serious effect in newborns and very young children. If the test shows a low level of antibodies in the parents, it is possible to vaccinate them to protect the children.

If a general practitioner issues an antibody test application, the insurance company pays for the examination. Otherwise, the test must be paid for by the candidate himself, but are only around Kč 350, depending on the lab.

Measles is a highly contagious infectious disease caused by the measles virus. Symptoms usually develop 10–12 days after exposure to an infected person and last 7–10 days.

Initial symptoms typically include fever, cough, runny nose, and inflamed eyes Small white spots may form inside the mouth two or three days after the start of symptoms. A red, flat rash which usually starts on the face and then spreads to the rest of the body typically begins three to five days after the start of symptoms.

The disease had been considered under control in the developed world but has had a resurgence due to a drop in vaccination rates.

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