In Jan. 2018, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a travel notice for Serbia in light of the measles outbreak.
According to Serbia's Institute of Public Health, more than 3,800 cases of measles, including a 15-day-old baby, have been recorded since the beginning of the outbreak in October.
It is spread through coughing and sneezing. Measles deplete the body of Vitamin A and any child who has contracted measles can develop problems such as diarrhoea, pneumonia and even blindness due to Vitamin A depletion as well as encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) which can result in brain damage, hearing loss and even death.
The majority of the cases are in Limerick city, and one is in Clare but linked to Limerick.
Nearly two thirds of cases are aged between 15 and 40 years demonstrating that measles is not just an illness of childhood. "Half of the cases have been hospitalised". No specific treatment against measles is available since it is a viral infection, hence vaccination is the only way to prevent the infection and related complications.
Doctors say it can take up to two weeks before a person exposed to measles can start showing symptoms.
The HSE is providing free MMR vaccination clinics, with no appointments required, on a number of dates.
"During this outbreak MMR vaccine is free of charge to the public as the HSE is paying for the vaccine and for the Global Positioning System to give the vaccine".
The HSE is also warning adult groups aged under 40 who have not been vaccinated to do so, particularly parents, those who work with the public, women planning to get pregnant [as the MMR can not be administered during pregnancy] and those planning to travel to Europe, as there are a number of large outbreaks of the illness in there - in the UK, France, Italy Germany and Romania. Heavy responsibility also rests with the parents that they also ensure vaccination of their children in the age bracket of nine to fifteen months in order to save them from this highly infectious and deadly disease.
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