The Romanian health authorities have announced Romania is currently facing a measles epidemic.
Romanian parents’ refusal to have their children immunized against measles and the irresponsible campaigns against immunizing infants have made the first victims, as shown by official data provided by the Romanian Health Ministry. Three infants have died and as many as 700 children have got measles in the first 8 months of 2016, unlike in 2015 when only 7 cases of measles were confirmed and no deaths were reported. So, Romania is facing a measles epidemic in spite of the fact that, over the past two years, no major problems have been reported in procuring the immunization vaccine.
Laurenţiu Colintineanu, a spokesman for the Health Ministry has details: “The three victims killed by measles were infants, but there are many children one year of age and over, who are not immunized and consequently get measles, thus becoming a threat for infants. Practically, the three infants died before reaching the proper age for immunization against measles, and this is really worrying.”
In a community that has all the means and conditions for immunization, all infants should benefit from the so-called group protection effect. The three dead infants could have been protected from measles if the older children had been immunized at the adequate age. Measles is a highly contagious infection that mainly affects children. How can it be prevented? Exclusively through immunization.
Recent studies show that Romania has reported the biggest drop in the general immunization rate, and the Health Ministry is set to carry on with the information campaign for the population meant to show the benefits of immunization. The Health Ministry spokesman: “Information campaigns for the population are indeed essential and the Health Ministry intends to start, as soon as possible, an information campaign about the benefits of vaccination against measles, given that children’s health is a priority”.
The Health Ministry has called on parents to respect the combined immunization schedule against measles, mumps and rubella. In the affected areas, the National Public Health Institute recommends immunization of infants at 7 months of age, with vaccination being repeated at 1 year of age. Most cases of measles have been reported in the center and west of Romania.
(Translated by Lacramioara Simion)