At Least 50 Confirmed Cases of Measles in Armenia

At Least 50 Confirmed Cases of Measles in Armenia

YEREVAN, MARCH 13, ARMENPRESS. Four new cases of measles were confirmed over the weekend, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the ongoing local outbreak in Armenia to 50, the Ministry of Healthcare reported Monday.

Only three patients are hospitalized, while 28 others have already been discharged.

34 of the 50 patients are children (aged from 3 months to 16 years old), while the 16 others are adults (aged 21 to 64). 1 of the patients is in serious condition.

Only 2 of the 50 patients are vaccinated, while 44 others are unvaccinated and two others had only had one dose of the vaccine.

Healthcare authorities recommend children get two doses of the measles vaccine, starting with the first dose at 12 through 15 months of age, and the second dose at 4 through 6 years of age. The Armenian healthcare ministry advised parents to get their children vaccinated if they’ve missed the immunization schedule.

At the same time, unvaccinated direct contacts of confirmed cases should also get vaccinated, healthcare authorities said.

Measles is one of the world’s most contagious diseases. It is spread by coughing and sneezing, close personal contact or direct contact with infected nasal or throat secretions.

The virus remains active and contagious in the air or on infected surfaces for up to 2 hours. It can be transmitted by an infected person from 4 days prior to the onset of the rash to 4 days after the rash erupts.

Unvaccinated young children are at highest risk of measles and its complications. Unvaccinated pregnant women are also at risk. Any non-immune person (who has not been vaccinated or was vaccinated but did not develop immunity) can become infected.

The first sign of measles is usually a high fever, which begins about 10 to 12 days after exposure to the virus, and lasts 4 to 7 days. A runny nose, a cough, red and watery eyes, and small white spots inside the cheeks can develop in the initial stage. After several days, a rash erupts, usually on the face and upper neck. Over about 3 days, the rash spreads, eventually reaching the hands and feet.