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2019.05.23 17:08

Measles cases drop in Lithuania as weather improves

Ramūnas Jakubauskas, BNS2019.05.23 17:08

Warm weather has led to a drop in measles cases in Lithuania, according to the Centre for Communicable Diseases and AIDS (ULAC).

“The number of cases is going down at the moment, with several individual cases registered every day. The measles virus is volatile and is most active in closed environments, so the peak usually occurs during the cold season when people spend more time indoors,” Kristina Žukauskaitė, a public health specialist at ULAC, told BNS.

However, whether the spread of measles will subside or not will depend on how many people decide to get vaccinated. But the situation is slowly improving, Žukauskaitė said.

ULAC figures show over 28,000 people got immunized against measles, mumps and rubella in January-April this year, which is almost 15,000 more than during the same period last year.

The number of vaccinated children under 17 rose by almost 6,000, and the number of vaccinated adults grew by almost 9,000.

“People made the right decision, and children who hadn't been immunized were vaccinated, and also elder people. The main preventative measure against measles is vaccination,” Žukauskaitė said. “Neither healthy lifestyle, nor healthy diet or jumping into an icy water will really protect you from the virus.”

The latest ULAC figures show 650 measles cases have been reported in Lithuania this year, mainly in Kaunas and Vilnius. Most patients, almost half, were people aged 30-45.