Romania is facing a measles epidemic, and what the authorities call 'an intense circulation of the flu virus'
The number of measles cases in Romania is on the rise, according to the latest figures released by the authorities, announcing 126 new cases lately, and almost 40 deaths throughout the season. Most cases were in eastern Romania, in the counties of Iasi, Suceava, Bacau, and Vaslui. The authorities are once again calling on the population to get measles shots. Here is physician Luminita Costache with more on the issue.
Luminita Costache: “With this measles epidemic, we can see at any time that we could be facing diseases we thought were all but forgotten. They have not been eradicated, the germs that cause them are still in circulation, but we do have methods, such as vaccination, that are able to prevent these diseases.”
Unfortunately, physicians say that a large number of people still don't fully comprehend the importance of immunization, for measles and flu alike. The official number of deaths caused by the flu is now higher than last year, when 21 people succumbed to it. The highest number of fatalities caused by the virus were in Iasi county, northeastern Romania.
Several hospitals around the country have put a quarantine in place, restricting access to infectious disease wards. Health Minister Sorina Pintea believes that this does not warrant a label of 'epidemic', but should rather be called 'an intense circulation of the virus', in a season when such an occurrence is expected. Doctors recommend going to the hospital if flu symptoms manifest. Family physician Daciana Toma provides details.
Daciana Toma: “If a head cold makes you feel unwell, a flu brings you down completely, your entire body is affected. A head cold may give you a runny nose or a sore throat. A flu makes you sick overall, with high fever, muscle pains, heavy sweating, and tremors. The flu is hard to be confused with some other ailment. We should wash hands often, and even wear a surgical mask if we have it. When you see your child affected by this, it is better to not take them to school, into the community, because you run the risk of making everyone else sick.”
According to doctors, the flu vaccine is the most effective way of prevention. They recommend it highly to age brackets at high risk, children and the elderly, as well as people with serious conditions. They also recommend washing hands often and avoiding crowded spaces, where the flu spreads very easily by sneezing or coughing.