Health officials in Switzerland are reporting a measles fatality in a young man who had leukemia in February. This is the first measles death in the country since 2009, according to a Tages-Anzeiger report (computer translated).
“A very tragic case, as it is rarely seen in Switzerland,” says Daniel Koch from the Federal Office of Public Health.
The patient was vaccinated; however, he still contracted the disease and perished from lung failure. He was strongly immunosuppressed from the medications he was taking, this is the reason why measles vaccination did not protect him.
“We don’t know where he caught the illness” said Daniel Koch, alluding to the importance of eradicating the disease in Switzerland.
Switzerland saw 68 measles cases in all of last year, while reporting 52 cases already in 2017 year to date.
Koch does say vaccination rates are improving in the country; however, they are not yet at the 95% vaccination rate that would have to be achieved for the measles elimination according to the World Health Organization.
Several European countries are reporting measles outbreaks, most notably Romania.
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- Australia: 3 measles cases reported in unvaccinated people in Western Sydney
- Romania: Measles outbreak tops 3,000, linked to other EU outbreaks