Measles: the ARS warns of the start of an epidemic in the Rhône

Measles: the ARS warns of the start of an epidemic in the Rhône

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The Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Regional Health Agency (ARS) is sounding the alarm. Since mid-January, 25 cases measles have been detected in the Rhône department, and more particularly in eastern Lyon, indicates the health authority in a statementafter having held a press conference Wednesday. Among these 25 cases, 22 concern children, nine of whom are under 13 years old.

Measles is “a very contagious disease” which mainly concerns children, “and in the absence of preventive measures, one patient can contaminate up to 20 people”, recalls the Regional Health Agency. This start of the epidemic occurs in a context of resurgence of measles by the World Health Organization (WHO) and Public Health France, particularly in Europe. Consequently, “the risk of circulation of the virus in France is increased”, underlines the ARS.

Measles is manifested by a rash preceded by rhinitis, conjunctivitis, cough, very high fever and severe fatigue. It can have severe forms, particularly at the respiratory and neurological level. In total, since mid-January in the Rhône, seven people have been hospitalized, including five children under 1 year old, and three with a measles pneumonia-type complication, details the ARS.

Another cluster in Drôme

The first case was reported on January 24. It was a child attending school in Décines who was returning from a trip to the United Arab Emirates, explains the ARS. Twelve people, linked to the school or members of their family, subsequently contracted measles. Then, from mid-February, “new cases were reported in the East Lyon area between Décines, Meyzieu, Bron, Saint-Priest”, mainly in schools, indicates the ARS, which specifies that she was not able to make a “link” with the first establishment.

The epidemic could take on regional proportions. According to the ARS, “another cluster of eleven cases in Drôme in an unvaccinated community is currently being monitored”.

VIDEO. Measles epidemic in Val-Thorens: “The only preventive treatment is vaccination”

The only prevention against measles is vaccination, insists the health authority, which recalls that it is compulsory for children born since January 1, 2018. Of the twenty-five cases reported in the Rhône, thirteen were not vaccinated, according to the ARS.

The WHO estimates that measles vaccination prevented 56 million deaths between 2000 and 2021. Yet, by 2022, 83% of children worldwide had received a dose of measles vaccine in their first year , a rate that has never been so low since 2008.



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