Greek Measles, Flu Epidemics Worsen

One hundred new measles cases were recorded last week, bringing the total number to 1,362, with most appearing in southern Greece.

The vast majority of measles cases are children from Roma communities and people from the general population, mostly in the 25-44 age group who are not immune. Among those affected are also health professionals who were not vaccinated or improperly vaccinated.

Two deaths from complications caused by the measles have been recorded so far, both in Roma communities: an infant and a 17-year-old boy.

The Hellenic Center for Disease Control & Prevention (KEELPNO) recommends vaccination with the mixed measles-rubella-mumps vaccine (MMR vaccine) for children, adolescents and adults who have not been vaccinated with the necessary doses.

According to the National Vaccine Program, children, adolescents and adults born after 1970 who have no history with the disease should be vaccinated with two doses of measles vaccine.

Flu epidemic worsens

The influenza epidemic is also rampant this time of the year. Up until Sunday, KEELPNO recorded 24 serious cases of the disease which required hospitalization in intensive care, as well as six deaths, of which five were in the last two weeks.

According to the center, patients who died of influenza complications were aged between 39 and 79 years old. None of the victims were vaccinated, despite the fact that five out of six were in a high-risk group for severe disease. Of the 24 patients requiring ICU hospitalization, only two had been vaccinated.

The influenza vaccine is recommended for people aged 60 years or older, healthcare workers, people with respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, chronic kidney disease, diabetes mellitus, immunosuppression patients, pregnant women, women who breastfeed and obese people.