On Mar. 21, health officials in Iceland (computer translated) reported a confirmed measles case in a nine-month-old child. The child had stayed with his family in Thailand and arrived on March 2 but fell ill on March 14 this year. fever, rash and respiratory symptoms. The child is unvaccinated because of his young age.
On Mar. 31, the first child’s sibling was also diagnosed with measles, not an unexpected event.
This is the first time in about quarter of a century as measles infection has occurred in Iceland.
Measles was once oppressive in Iceland, especially in the 19th century and into the 20th century. The incidence of measles was dramatically reduced after systematic vaccinations against the disease at 2 years of age in 1976, and was the last outbreak in Iceland in 1977.
The last measles cases in the country was in 2014 and 2016, a child and an adult, respectively. These individuals were infected abroad, not after arrival in Iceland.
Up to 95% of children in this country are vaccinated against measles as well as rubella and mumps, one of the highest proportion of vaccinated children in Europe. It is not expected that measles can spread and cause large outbreaks in the country. But as always, it can be assumed that unvaccinated individuals can become infected by measles in the country. Measles can be dangerous especially unvaccinated young children and immunocompromised individuals.