Balance 2013: Measles cases in Germany increased

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Measles - 2013 balance: Strong spread of viral disease in Germany

According to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), there were a total of 1,775 measles diseases in 2013. For Germany, this represents the strongest wave of illness in seven years. "Heilpraxisnet" already reported in December 2013 that the measles virus was germinating.

For some years now, it has been spreading childhood disease in Europe again after being largely suppressed by vaccinations. In the past year, there was an increased number of cases of the disease, which is mainly transmitted by droplet infection, especially in Berlin and Munich. Doctors registered almost 1200 measles cases in both cities. The RKI sees vaccine fatigue and misinformation as one of the main causes of the recurrence of the disease. The increasing measles infection numbers are statistically demonstrable, linked to the low vaccination rates among children and adolescents.

Two vaccinations recommended
The "Permanent Vaccination Committee" (Stiko) recommends the first measles vaccination, usually in combination with protection against mumps and rubella (MMR), which should be given from the 11th to the 14th month of life. The second vaccination should be given between the ages of 15 and 23 months. This is to ensure that those children whose immune system has not developed adequate protection after the first vaccination will ultimately still produce antibodies. In Germany there are large regional differences in terms of vaccinations. Children are rarely vaccinated, especially in Upper Bavaria. On average, only 37 percent of all small children are protected against viruses according to the Stiko recommendations.

Researchers want to have calculated that a vaccination rate of 95 percent must be achieved for global eradication. Unlike zoonosis, which are infectious diseases such as rabies or foot-and-mouth disease, which can be transmitted from animals to humans, measles viruses only occur in humans. An eradication, such as has been achieved with smallpox viruses, could also be possible, according to the researchers. Measles disease can cause serious complications in adults over 20 and children up to five years of age. The initial symptoms such as runny nose, cough or fever can quickly develop into pneumonia or even inflammation of the brain. Measles is considered highly contagious and the number of diseases depends heavily on how many people are near an infected person.

Children and adolescent doctors demand that all children in public schools and day care centers should be protected. However, it can hardly be prevented from being imported from abroad. (fr)

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