Macedonia declares measles epidemic


Macedonia’s Health Ministry Commission for Infectious Diseases declared on Tuesday a measles epidemic on the whole territory of the country.

According to Vladimir Mikikj, an epidemiologist with the Commission, the decision was made in order to control and prevent the further spread of measles, decrease the number of new infections and also prevent severe forms of this disease.

Talking about some of the new measures, Mikikj said, unvaccinated children would not be admitted to kindergartens, and the vaccination age is to be lowered from 12 to 6 months.

“At the moment, more than 70 children are hospitalized and seven are in critical condition,” said Mikikj, adding that hospital visits are banned to prevent new infections in hospital conditions.

Since the onset of the epidemic in the capital Skopje in December 2018, a total of 961 measles cases have been registered in Macedonia.

Official data from the Institute of Public Health showed that during last week more than 60 percent of the cases were reported outside Skopje. A total of 20 cities in the country have registered cases of measles.

Meanwhile, six public health centers, which cover more than half the territory of the country, have already declared an outbreak of measles.

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