Health officials in Catalonia have reported twelve measles cases among young adults in Barcelona, according to a La Vanguardia report (computer translated). The twelve cases diagnosed so far in the metro Barcelona area are linked to the same original patient, a person who became infected in China in early January, as stated in the circular that the Agency of Public Health of Catalonia has sent to all health centers.
Measles was eradicated from the area since 2000; however, sporadic outbreaks still occur.
“It is not unusual to see the virus circulating from time to time despite the MMR vaccine, especially among young adults or under 30 poorly vaccinated”, according to epidemiologist Dr. Antoni Trilla.
Trilla goes on to say that the virus is still circulating in Europe. “In Romania there has been a recent outbreak with more than 2,300 cases and 14 deaths”, says Trilla. In France, one of the territories most affected by anti-virus movements, the situation has improved in recent years, but the virus is still active and causing new cases.
Measles is a highly contagious viral disease, which affects mostly children. It is transmitted via droplets from the nose, mouth or throat of infected persons. Initial symptoms, which usually appear 10–12 days after infection, include high fever, runny nose, bloodshot eyes, and tiny white spots on the inside of the mouth. Several days later, a rash develops, starting on the face and upper neck and gradually spreading downwards.
There is no specific treatment for measles and most people recover within 2–3 weeks. However, particularly in malnourished children and people with reduced immunity, measles can cause serious complications, including blindness, encephalitis, severe diarrhea, ear infection and pneumonia. Measles can be prevented by immunization.
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