2020.01.07 10:00

First measles case this year diagnosed in Kaunas

BNS 2020.01.07 10:00

A patient in Kaunas, Lithuania's second biggest city, has been diagnosed with the first case of measles this year.

According to Saulius Čaplinskas, the head of the Centre for Communicable Diseases and AIDS (ULAC), a man in his 50s was diagnosed with the infectious disease on Friday.

“His vaccination status is unknown, but judging from the antibody count, we can assume that he has received only one dose of vaccination and has no immunity,” he told BNS, adding that the man has not travelled outside Lithuania lately.

According to ULAC, 834 measles patients, 196 children and 638 adults, were treated in Lithuania last year.

The rise in the number of cases also led to an increase in MMR vaccinations which rose from 46,800 in 2018 to 76,300 last year.

While there is no immediate risk of a measles outbreak in the country, claiming that the disease is completely contained would be “irresponsible”, Čaplinskas said on Monday.

“It's very hard to say, but to maintain that the measles problem is off the agenda would be irresponsible. It would also be irresponsible to frighten people too much. This is a double-edged sword,” Čaplinskas told BNS.

Those unsure whether they are immune should get vaccinated, Čaplinskas said.