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2yo baby girl dies of measles in Craiova, death toll climbs to 17

A 2-year-old baby girl died of measles at the Hospital for Infectious Diseases in Craiova (southwestern Romania). The little girl, coming from a Roma community from Dolj county, had no birth certificate and hasn’t been vaccinated.

Another seven children from the same family also got measles and are currently hospitalized.

It’s the fourth death case caused by measles in Dolj county and the 17th countrywide since the measles epidemic broken out early last year.

The 2yo baby girl was raised by her grandparents in a Roma community living at the outskirts of Bailesti town in Dolj county. Her grandmother thought she had got a cold and took her to the town’s hospital. When doctors saw she had measles symptoms, they transferred her at the Hospital for Infectious Diseases in Craiova.

Unfortunately, the girl died shortly after. Epidemiologists were sent in the area, but they concluded that there is a closed Roma community and there is no risk for the disease to spread to other children in town.

17 people, mostly children, have died since early last year. Overall, 3,100 people got sick with measles, most of them being unvaccinated children.

The counties in western Romania top the national ranking on measles cases.

Timisoara also ranks among first cities on the measles statistics. On top of the measles outbreak, “Victor Babes” Hospital for Infectious Diseases from Timisoara on Thursday threatened that it would cover only  the emergency cases, discontent over the low funds the hospital had received for the upcoming seven months. The hospital representatives say the money is not enough to cover for the medical unit’s needs.

The World Health Organization has recently warned over the risk of measles taking more and more ground in Europe, in the countries reporting low vaccination figures. The WHO experts underlined that the measles cases have exploded in the first months of the year, giving Romania and Italy as negative examples.

Official statistics point to a high epidemic risk in 14 out of 53 European countries. The WHO urges the authorities in the countries that reported many cases to take immediate actions to keep the disease under control and to prevent new cases.

About Alina Grigoras