According to health officials, 5715 confirmed cases of measles were reported across Serbia from October 2017 through August 10, 2018. Of the total, 117 new cases were confirmed between June 21 and August 10. At least 15 fatalities have also been reported during the current outbreak due to complications from the disease. Approximately 95 percent of infected individuals were either partially or fully unvaccinated. Further spread of the outbreak is possible in the near-term.
Measles is a highly contagious viral disease that typically affects mostly children. It is transmitted via droplets from the nose, mouth, or throat of infected persons. Symptoms of measles are usually a high fever, which begins approximately ten to 12 days after exposure to the virus and lasts four to seven 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 the course of about three days, the rash spreads, eventually reaching the hands and feet. The rash lasts for five to six days and then fades. On average, the rash occurs 14 days after exposure to the virus (within a range of seven to 18 days). A vaccine is available.
Individuals in Serbia are advised to ensure their measles vaccination is up to date (including booster shots) and to contact their doctor with any questions or concerns. Anyone experiencing the above symptoms is urged to seek immediate medical attention.
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