With the number of confirmed cases of measles in the country increasing by 50% in a matter of days, authorities are not yet facing up to the issue that several of those who contracted the virus had been vaccinated against it.
What they have conceded is that people already vaccinated have a certain degree of immunity and therefore suffer “a lighter form” of measles than those who may not have been inoculated.
Nonetheless, of the now 12 confirmed cases – including four previously-vaccinated health professionals at Cascais Hospital, and a 13-month-old baby that had not yet received the voluntary national vaccine – none are said to have developed any measles-related ‘complications’.
The baby is already “fine” and back home, Cascais hospital’s clinical director director Eduarda Reis told reporters this weekend – and the health professionals who caught the virus as a result of the baby’s admission are “in isolation in their own homes” without contact with any family members, says tabloid Correio da Manhã.
According to the paper, the baby also infected a 13-year-old patient in the hospital – but it is not clear whether this child had been previously immunised against measles.
CM stresses that the measles vaccine is part of the national vaccination programme, but remains voluntary.
Elsewhere in Europe, there have been 559 reported cases in France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Romania, Switzerland and the Ukraine.
Portugal’s director of health Francisco George appealed earlier this month for all parents, particularly of babies and toddler, to ensure their children were fully vaccinated (click here).
As is very often explained, the measles virus can lead to a number of complications, including death. This is why any kind of outbreak is treated so seriously.
UPDATE MONDAY: New reports suggest another 11 suspected cases of measles are “under evaluation”.