The number of confirmed cases of measles in the current outbreak in Portugal has risen to 70, a case more than on Saturday, according to the latest report by the Directorate General of Health (DGS). Of the 70 people infected, at least 24 are cured, and there are still 148 suspected or investigated cases that have proved negative. There are no hospitalized patients.
The majority of the cases (87%) were registered in health professionals, usually with a work link to the Santo António hospital in Porto. Another 29 cases remain under investigation, according to the DGS.
All patients were adults, 14% are not vaccinated and 9% had incomplete vaccination regimens.
The Directorate-General for Health recalls that the measles virus is transmitted by direct contact with infectious droplets or by spread in the air when the infected person coughs or sneezes. Patients are considered contagious from four days before and up to four days after the onset of the rash.
Measles symptoms usually appear between 10 and 12 days after the person is infected and usually starts with fever, rash (progresses from head to trunk and lower extremities), cough, conjunctivitis and runny nose.
Health professionals should have both doses of the vaccine regardless of their age.
According to data released this week by the Ministry of Health, two-thirds of measles positive cases from the current outbreak are from health professionals who didn't take the two required doses of the vaccine.
Anyone who has had measles is immunized and will not have the disease again. People with the complete vaccination schedule may contract the disease, but in a mild manner and are not a vehicle for transmission, according to health authorities.