09. 03. 2017 14:26
Slovakia, too, may see small outbreaks of a measles epidemic, admitted Slovakia's Chief Hygienist Ján Mikas at a press conference on Wednesday. Since measles are one of the most serious diseases occurring most commonly among young children, Mikas recommends that parents have their children vaccinated against measles as part of the compulsory vaccination programme. According to the Chief Hygienist, the nationwide vaccination rates have fallen in recent years from 99 to around 95 percent, with the lowest rates recorded in the Bratislava, Trenčín and Košice regions. The WHO recommends ensuring a 95 percent vaccination coverage in order to achieve sufficient herd immunity against measles. In Slovakia, measles vaccination began in 1969. As part of the compulsory vaccination programme, children aged between 15 to 18 months are immunized and revaccination is carried out in 11-year-old children. According to Ján Mikas, since the measles epidemics appeared in a number of European countries, most notably in Romania, where over the past few months the country has recorded over 3,000 cases of measles, it is clear that the virus is circulating among the European population. "In recent years, we have not recorded a single case of domestic or imported measles," stated Mikas. The last was in 2012. Nevertheless, Mikas said that paediatricians and general practitioners should remain alert.