While Europe has been seeing a measles outbreak during the past two years or so, affecting thousands, Greece has been largely unaffected until recent months. Since Aug. 2017, 364 measles cases have been reported with 167 reported in October alone.

Image/3dman_eu via pixabay
Image/3dman_eu via pixabay

The Hellenic Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (KEELPNO) says the majority of the cases have been reported from South Greece, affecting mainly people of Greek nationality (mainly young Roma children, as well as Greek adults mainly aged 25-44 years old) susceptible to measles, among them healthcare professionals who were unvaccinated or partly vaccinated.

One death has been reported in a laboratory confirmed measles case, concerning a Roma infant 11 months old, with underlying dystrophy, unvaccinated, who died of septicemia.

KEELPNO expects more cases and says the spread to other geographic areas cannot be excluded.

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Vaccination with the combined measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine is recommended for children, adolescents and adults who have not been vaccinated with the appropriate doses. According to the National Immunization Program, children, adolescents and adults who were born after 1970 and have no evidence of immunity should receive 2 doses of measles containing vaccine.