Measles outbreaks in Austria: “Virus can now spread rapidly”

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Measles is back: not only in Vienna have numerous people fallen ill (“Die Presse” reported), a measles outbreak was also recently registered in Tyrol, and people in other federal states have also fallen ill with the highly contagious virus. There are currently just under 60 confirmed cases in Austria.

Lukas Weseslindtner, virologist at the Medical University of Vienna, is sounding the alarm: “There are several hotspots of different viruses,” he says on Ö1’s Morgenjournal. “And since this virus is very, very contagious, it can now spread rapidly if not enough people are immune.”

The overall vaccination rate in Austria is around 80 percent, with the biggest gaps being among under-threes. According to Weseslindtner, however, a vaccination rate of 95 percent is required for measles to be eradicated, specifically two vaccinations for immunity to persist.

“Damages from head to toe”
“It is the most infectious pathogen we have,” he says. “The more contagious it is, the more people need to be vaccinated.” Weseslindtner appeals to people to check their own vaccinations and supplement them if necessary. The problem with measles: “It really is a very dangerous virus. It causes a systemic viral infection that damages us from head to toe.”

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