Toulouse: 151 Cases of Measles in Haute-Garonne, Territory most Affected by the Epidemic in France

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151 cases of measles were reported in Toulouse and Haute-Garonne, Wednesday, May 22, 2019.

Wednesday 22nd May, 2019, Public Health France has unveiled its weekly figures on cases of measles recorded in Haute-Garonne. The department is the most affected. Explanations.

For several weeks, cases of measles have continued to increase in Toulouse and Haute-Garonne. So much so that the department is the most affected by the disease in France. In its latest bulletin Wednesday 22nd May, 2019 , France Public Health announced that 151 cases of measles have been reported since the 1st January . The second most affected department is the Var, with 57 cases. In total, 1184 cases were identified in France.

Insufficient vaccination

According to Anne Guinard , a doctor who comes to support the Regional Health Agency of Occitania, two reasons explain these high figures:

“Haute-Garonne is one of the most populated departments, so it necessarily emerges as a breeding ground for the epidemic. In addition, the data is based on a declarative system and the department is particularly aware of the declaration.”

Dr. Guinard notes that Haute-Garonne “is part of a region where vaccination is insufficient to prevent the risk of epidemics”. If all people born since 1980 must have received two doses of the measles vaccine , this is far from the case. “Vaccination helps protect others and eradicate the virus.” Especially since the disease, highly contagious, can be transmitted up to five days before even skin rashes.

The cases of measles reported in France and Haute-Garonne since January 1, 2019, to Wednesday, May 22, 2019.
The cases of measles reported in France and Haute-Garonne since January 1, 2019, to Wednesday, May 22, 2019. (© Public Health France)

From otitis to encephalitis

On the profiles of people affected by measles, Haute-Garonne follows substantially the same ratios as at the national level. About 10% are infants , unable to receive the vaccine at their age, and 30% are young adults , due to lack of vaccination. The consequences of the disease are diverse: in toddlers, this can cause otitis or various diseases to the ears . For their part, young adults can develop pneumonia or even encephalitis (1 case out of 1000). 

“No precise focus”

Unlike influenza, measles is not a seasonal disease. “This is an atypical epidemic, with about 20 new cases every week in Occitania, including a dozen in Haute-Garonne”. Only vaccination will help to overcome the epidemic because “it circulates but has no specific focus”. 

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