Measles Cases In Iceland, Hospital Pleads With Public To Vaccinate - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Measles Cases In Iceland, Hospital Pleads With Public To Vaccinate

Published March 6, 2019

Andie Fontaine
Photos by
Gates Foundation/Flickr Creative Commons

Four children have thus far been diagnosed with measles, at least two of them under the age when vaccinations are typically given. Landspítali hospital is urging the general public to call a hotline if they suspect they have contracted measles, along with a broader exhortation to vaccinate.

As RÚV reports, the outbreak began last February, when a man came to Iceland by plane, and then took a domestic flight to Egilsstaðir. It turned out that this man had measles, and he in turn infected four people on board, three of them children. Yesterday, an 11-month-old child was also diagnosed with measles, and now the public is on high alert.

Pediatrician Ásgeir Haraldsson emphasised to reporters that the parents of these children had done nothing wrong; two of the children are under 18 months old, which is when vaccinations are typically given. However, as one of these children was in playschool last week, they are being kept at home, and the parents of other kids at the school have been alerted.

Furthermore, Landspítali posted on Facebook, urging people to call 1700 if they suspect that they or someone they know may have contracted measles. A nurse on duty will guide callers through the next steps that should be taken. In addition, children 18 months or older who have not yet been vaccinated are encouraged to do so—getting a shot even just 72 hours before exposure can prevent infection.

Fortunately, over 90% of Icelanders are resistant to the disease, and they have been vaccinated already. We would also like to add that vaccines absolutely do not cause autism, as the new results of a 10-year study of over 600,000 children once again proves.

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