gov.mt

pr190563

PR190563

19/03/2019

PRESS RELEASE BY THE SUPERINTENDENCE OF PUBLIC HEALTH

​Public Health authorities are investigating three separate, unrelated, confirmed cases of measles. Whilst these cases are being investigated, necessary precautions are being taken to ensure that these cases remain isolated.

In 2018, there were 5 imported cases and one case of local transmission. Since there was no sustained transmission, Malta has till now maintained the status of elimination of measles. The Public Health Authority’s strategic action for measles includes vaccination, early identification of cases, isolation, management of cases, and contact tracing. 

Measles cases primarily occur in unvaccinated populations in both adults and children. Large outbreaks with fatalities are ongoing in many European countries that had previously eliminated or interrupted endemic transmission. In January 2019, Romania, Italy, Poland, and France had the highest case counts with 261, 165, 133, and 124 cases, respectively and notable increases were reported in Italy, Poland, France, and Austria.

Measles can spread with minimal contact through the air via infectious droplets when a person coughs or sneezes. It can be prevented with vaccination with measles vaccine (part of the MMR) which is included in the National Immunisation Schedule.