Time in Yerevan: 11:07:36,   26 May

Passengers, crew of December 21 Moscow-Yerevan Flight 4377 urged to seek medical attention as precaution amid measles detection

YEREVAN, DECEMBER 25, ARMENPRESS. Passengers and crew of the December 21 Moscow-Yerevan Flight 4377 are considered at-risk if they haven’t been vaccinated against measles as one of the passengers tested positive for the disease in Yerevan after arrival. The passenger showed symptoms and lab tests confirmed the disease on December 24. The passenger arrived on December 21.

“In order to prevent the further spread of the infection we urge to seek medical attention at the nearest medical facility or dial 010 550601,” Immunization-Preventive National Program leader Gayane Sahakyan said on Facebook.

Although Sahakyan did not mention which airline operated the flight, online schedules state that the Russian Nordwind Airlines fly daily from Moscow to Yerevan with the flight number N4 377.

An imported measles case has been documented in Armenia. The lab test confirmed the case on December 24. The patients has arrived from Russia with already visible symptoms, the healthcare ministry told ARMENRPESS. The nationality and identity of the patient was undisclosed.

The ministry released a statement, noting that “the only preventive measure for the disease is vaccination”.

Details of the abovementioned particular case weren’t immediately clear.

The ministry said that people who get at least two doses of vaccinations develop a 97-98% immunity from the disease and maintain it for a lifetime.

Below is a factsheet of the World Health Organization (WHO) on measles.

Measles is a highly contagious viral disease. It remains an important cause of death among young children globally, despite the availability of a safe and effective vaccine.

Under the Global Vaccine Action Plan, measles and rubella are targeted for elimination in five WHO Regions by 2020. WHO is the lead technical agency responsible for coordination of immunization and surveillance activities supporting all countries to achieve this goal.

Measles is transmitted via droplets from the nose, mouth or throat of infected persons. Initial symptoms, which usually appear 10–12 days after infection, include high fever, a runny nose, bloodshot eyes, and tiny white spots on the inside of the mouth. Several days later, a rash develops, starting on the face and upper neck and gradually spreading downwards.

Severe measles is more likely among poorly nourished young children, especially those with insufficient vitamin A, or whose immune systems have been weakened by HIV/AIDS or other diseases. The most serious complications include blindness, encephalitis (an infection that causes brain swelling), severe diarrhoea and related dehydration, and severe respiratory infections such as pneumonia.

Routine measles vaccination for children, combined with mass immunization campaigns in countries with low routine coverage, are key public health strategies to reduce global measles deaths.

While global measles deaths have decreased by 84 percent worldwide in recent years — from 550,100 deaths in 2000 to 89,780 in 2016 — measles is still common in many developing countries, particularly in parts of Africa and Asia. An estimated 7 million people were affected by measles in 2016. The overwhelming majority (more than 95%) of measles deaths occur in countries with low per capita incomes and weak health infrastructures.

The measles vaccine has been in use since the 1960s. It is safe, effective and inexpensive. WHO recommends immunization for all susceptible children and adults for whom measles vaccination is not contraindicated. Reaching all children with 2 doses of measles vaccine, either alone, or in a measles-rubella (MR), measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), or measles-mumps-rubella-varicella (MMRV) combination, should be the standard for all national immunization programmes.

Edited and translated by Stepan Kocharyan




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