The number of cases in Bosnia and Herzegovina’s (BiH) measles outbreak rose to 23 on Wednesday, the BiH Public Health Institute confirmed to local media.
Twelve confirmed cases were linked to the territory of Republika Srpska (RS), one of the entities in BiH. Two more cases of measles were confirmed on Wednesday morning in RS, 40-years old men who went on an official stay in Montenegro and had a contact with an infected person, RS Public Health Institute said in the press statement.
The first outbreak was detected on March 15 after three persons have been hospitalized and BiH health authorities officially issued the measles epidemic.
The number of confirmed cases in the Federation of BiH (FBiH), the other BiH entity is 9, the Federal Public Health Institute told local media.
In order to better control, prevent the outbreak of the disease and suppress the spread of the epidemic, the only and most effective measure is Measles, Mumps and Rubella Vaccine (MRP) vaccination, BiH Institute said in the press release.
BiH is for a long time in danger of epidemics, but the speed of virus spreading depends on the collective immunity, how many people are susceptible to the infection and whether they are vaccinated.
There were two major epidemics in 2005 and 2014 in BiH when there were thousands of people infected, Microbiology specialist Mirsada Hukic told local media.
Since October 2017, there has been an increase in the number of people infected by measles in Kosovo, Macedonia and Serbia, the Institute stated in a press release.
Between Feb.1 2017 and Jan. 31 2018, 14 732 cases of measles were reported to the European Surveillance System by 30 EU/EEA countries, mostly in Romania (5 224), Italy (4 978) and Greece (1 398), EU European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control website said.
Measles is a highly infectious viral disease that spreads through coughs and sneezes and can cause serious illness, with very young patients particularly vulnerable.