Greece is currently in the throes of a measles epidemic that could very well spread to areas throughout the country, an expert advisor of the Hellenic Centre for Disease Control and Prevention revealed in an interview with the Athens-Macedonian News Agency (ANA), on Monday.
According to Professor Takis Panagiotopoulos, who specializes in child health at the National Centre for Public Health, 90 of the first 100 cases of the disease recorded affected Greek nationals, indicating that the disease had not resurfaced as a result of migrants entering the country.
The most effective protection against catching the measles; which was a disease with potentially serious complications that could even prove fatal, was the MMR vaccine against measles, mumps and rubella, Prof. Panagiotopoulos said. This advice was not limited to children only but also to any adult born after 1970, who had not had the measles and who might need a booster shots he said.
“Measles is a potentially serious disease. The HCDCP is systematically following the course of the epidemiological situation in Greece and worldwide, gauging the facts and may possibly, depending on how things develop, recommend additional measures,” he said.
Among possible complications caused by measles were ear infections, pneumonia, encephalitis and many other serious and sometimes fatal health issues, he added, while the disease was highly contagious.
He especially advised the need to debunk groundless rumours about the supposed risks of vaccines, and inform parents and the public, about the importance and safety of immunisation programmes.