Israel's healthcare professionals are worried about an abuse of measles in Jerusalem. The city has the highest number of newly diagnosed cases of the highly infectious disease in Israel, and some figures in public health are saying they are not sure that the Ministry of Health is facing the challenge of spreading.
This year, 341 cases of measles have been reported in Jerusalem – more than half of all reported cases in the country this year. Only in September 213 new cases were reported and experts expect the total number of cases in the current outbreak to be 10 times as many.
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"Hospital in Jerusalem gets between five and ten new cases of measles every day," says a senior doctor who specializes in diseases and said he spoke on terms of anonymity. "The drug groups are in charge of trying to find anyone who may have come into contact with each patient, but they can not stay and the disease continues to spread."
The doctor said the Ministry of Health must start a national information campaign that requires residents to stay up to date with their vaccines, the situation will worsen and the disease will spread to other parts of the country. "Such contagious disease will not only be left in Jerusalem, it will spread. We have a problem and we have to solve it," he says.
Health officials began to express concern in August when the number of new measles services in the Jerusalem area suddenly jumped to 69, from six to nine in the month. Doctors were invited to refer unvaccinated children to immunization. Vaccination campaigns were conducted in neighborhoods with low vaccination rates, focusing on ultra-orthodox neighborhoods. These efforts were only partially successful, as the sharp jump on new cases in September proved.
"The problem in Jerusalem is in areas and populations that some of the outermost orthodox quarters, with pockets of non-vaccination, or where not all are vaccinated," said Professor Yechiel Schlesinger, an expert on infectious diseases and director of Wilf Children & # 39 ; s Hospital at the Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem.
"We are in a situation where a critical mass has been created and thus the eruption is serious. We see a significant increase in the number of diagnoses – in adults, but mainly in children," says Schlesinger.
He said that the children who come to the hospital are either children under one year who have not yet received their first dose of the vaccine or older children who have never been vaccinated or never received the second dose.
"With us, we are fortunately not in patients with intensive care, but we have children with severe pneumonia and a pregnant woman who has been infected, whose children must be treated with antibodies immediately after birth to prevent him from becoming ill. In earlier outbreak, there was more serious fall, says Schlesinger.
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Schlesinger said that in Jerusalem, the low-vascular rate in some neighbors is not necessarily the result of any principle decision or intentional choice, but rather a lack of awareness and understanding of the consequences of failing to vaccinate.
And even people who think they have been immunized are not necessarily protected.
"What many do not know is that there are a large segment of the population, born between 1957 and 1977, which were not properly vaccinated," said Prof Eli Schwartz, an expert on infectious diseases at Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer. "The Ministry of Health warns travelers to Europe and countries where measles are endemic [to get vaccinated] but it must focus on populations that were not immunized properly and urge them to be vaccinated," he said.