In a follow-up on the measles situation in Portugal, the head of the Directorate-General for Health in Portugal, Francisco George said the measles case tally has risen to 21 confirmed cases, and another 18 under investigation, according to Portuguese media (computer translated). 


The focus of this outbreak is due, George explained, to a group of children who were not vaccinated at their parents’ option.

In addition, a 17-year-old girl died from measles Wednesday morning.  According to the Hospital Dona Estefânia, Lisbon unit where she was hospitalized, the young woman died “following an infectious clinical situation with bilateral pneumonia – measles”.

She had been infected with measles at the Hospital de Cascais from a 13-month-old baby who was not vaccinated. She was transferred to the Hospital of D. Estefânia on Monday, due to the worsening of her state of health.

Francisco George stated that vaccination coverage in Portugal exceeds levels above 96 percent and that the next step will be “to work together with the Ministry of Education and with the central agencies of the Ministry of Health.”

“We will never have a large-scale epidemic. We do not fear scenarios of a great epidemic like the one that’s happening in Italy”, he said.

Measles was virtually eradicated in Portugal in 1994.