Romanian health authorities reported another 75 measles cases during the past two weeksr 75 newly confirmed cases in 9 counties and in the city of Bucharest, putting the outbreak total for 2019 to date at 1027, including four fatalities.

Image/Robert Herriman

Since the outbreak began in late 2016, Romania has reported 16,627 cases and 63 deaths. Of the outbreak total, 94 percent of the cases were unvaccinated and four percent only received one of the two-shot series.

Eight out of 10 cases are reported in children 14 years or younger.

Measles is a highly contagious virus that lives in the nose and throat mucus of an infected person. It can spread to others through coughing and sneezing. Also, measles virus can live for up to two hours in an airspace where the infected person coughed or sneezed. If other people breathe the contaminated air or touch the infected surface, then touch their eyes, noses, or mouths, they can become infected. Measles is so contagious that if one person has it, up to 90% of the people close to that person who are not immune will also become infected.

Some people may suffer from severe complications, such as pneumonia and encephalitis. For every 1,000 children who get measles, one or two will die from it.

The MMR vaccine is very safe and effective. Two doses of MMR vaccine are about 97% effective at preventing measles; one dose is about 93% effective.