Posted 14 апреля 2023,, 06:32

Published 14 апреля 2023,, 06:32

Modified 14 апреля 2023,, 08:11

Updated 14 апреля 2023,, 08:11

Are we in danger of a measles epidemic? Rospotrebnadzor starts mass vaccination

Are we in danger of a measles epidemic? Rospotrebnadzor starts mass vaccination

14 апреля 2023, 06:32
Measles, the most contagious virus on the planet, has reached Moscow. The University of Oil and Gas has been quarantined. Measles outbreaks were recorded in St. Petersburg, Tomsk, Dagestan. Rospotrebnadzor has started vaccination against measles in Russia.

Irina Mishina

In the dormitory of the Gubkin University of Oil and Gas, seven people fell ill with measles.

Students were sent on vacation, couples were canceled, masked guards, an ambulance is on duty at the hostel.

No measles vaccination? For vaccination!

As Eduard Rushat, the head of public Relations at the University of Oil and Gas, explained to us, unscheduled vacations are organized "for the convenience of anti-epidemic measures".

The university administration adds: "So far, they have taken a break to sort everything out". Students who were vaccinated in childhood and can document it, don't have to worry.  The rest were asked not to leave their dorm rooms. If there is no immunity from measles, an emergency vaccination is prescribed after contact with the patient. The situation is under the control of Rospotrebnadzor.

Measles outbreaks have recently been reported from different cities in Russia. A little less than a month ago, at the end of March, 11 cases of measles were detected in St. Petersburg. As it turned out, all the cases were not vaccinated, and the first two cases were imported from Tajikistan. Prior to that, 19 measles outbreaks were detected in Tomsk. The largest outbreak of measles is in Dagestan today. "To date, there are 41 patients in the department, six were admitted during the day, five of them children", - said Muminat Dzhabrailova, deputy chief physician of the Republican Central Infectious Diseases hospital in Makhachkala.To prevent such situations from becoming more, immunization against diphtheria and measles will be carried out in the regions from April 3 by order of Rospotrebnadzor.

Both Russians and migrant workers will be vaccinated, as well as those who have not been vaccinated before or have not had measles. 

Consequences of measles: up to blindness and deafness

What is this virus that forced emergency measures to be taken across the country?


10 years ago, a million young children on the planet were dying from measles. In 1987, a measles eradication program was adopted in our country. The Leningrad Institute has created a vaccine, they began to vaccinate. The first vaccine is made in a year, then in six years. As a result, the incidence has plummeted. Vaccination is an artificial imitation of the disease in a mild form.

Measles refers to severe infections that can cause serious complications and even death of a person. Although this disease is considered a child's disease, adults can also get sick with it. Moreover, their disease passes in a very severe form. "The most formidable complication is brain damage, the outcome of which may be deafness and blindness", - warns Alexander Gorelov, Deputy Director for Scientific Work of the Central Research Institute of Epidemiology of Rospotrebnadzor.

What are the features of the current measles outbreak?


"Measles is a serious and serious disease. The incidence curve is now likely to grow. The covid years have changed the response to this viral disease. He has a longer current now. Those who have been vaccinated against measles before can still get sick, there are such statistics. Measles is a highly contagious disease, very contagious, the increase in the incidence, I hope, will not reach pandemic values, but it will reach thousands. I can predict that infectious diseases hospitals will be full, isolated medical boxes will be needed, and we don't have many of them", - infectious diseases specialist, pediatrician, head of the Leader Medicine medical center Yevgeny Timakov told NI.

Doctors warn that measles outbreaks can occur in large groups, in educational institutions, in universities, in the army, where people communicate closely with each other.

And if one person gets sick, then others can catch this infection completely.

"The signs of measles are easy to recognize: cough, runny nose, sore throat, fever, but the most recognizable is a red spotted rash on the skin. Adults can also get sick, especially if they have not been vaccinated, and in a rather severe form. There are cases when children born from unvaccinated mothers have fallen ill with measles", - says Dmitry Epstein, vice president of the regional public organization of Moscow nurses. – Moreover, adults carry measles much harder. In children, this disease is also easier to detect, pediatricians know the clinical picture, and in adults it is blurred. It has already been noticed that if a person has been ill with covid and his immunity is reduced, he tolerates measles harder and longer. I think we will introduce anti-epidemic measures".

"Measles can now disguise itself as an enterovirus, there may be various rashes, but the characteristic feature is spots on the inside of the cheek, on the mucous membrane, and this can only be determined by a doctor", - explains infectious disease specialist, pediatrician Yevgeny Timakov.

Will vaccination save you?

The question arises why the measles vaccination, which is mandatory in childhood, in some cases does not protect.

Doctor of Medical Sciences, Professor Pavel Vorobyov generally believes that the vaccination campaign is useless: "Immunity is not long, vaccination must be repeated every 6-7 years, but it is physically impossible to do this, because it is too expensive to vaccinate 150 million people regularly".

But doctors have other versions about the low effectiveness of measles vaccinations.

"In the 90s and the noughties, there was complete disorder in our medicine, certificates could be bought, in those years the anti-vaccination campaign began to spread among parents. It was bad with vaccinations in Central Asia. Under the USSR, all children were vaccinated there without fail, and after the collapse of the Union, this practice stopped. Therefore, it is there that there are outbreaks of a variety of infections that, together with migrants, "come" to Russia. I would like to add that a person with measles is especially dangerous in the first 3-4 days, at this time the disease is most difficult to recognize, because the characteristic spots appear later", - explained Nikolay Malyshev, MD, former chief infectious disease specialist in Moscow. Covid also played a negative role.

"Cleansing immunization" against measles was carried out in 2019-2020. But then covid came, and everything came to naught. They forgot about measles, children's immunization has sunk. As a result, an exacerbation of a number of serious infectious diseases began in the autumn of the last year.  

On April 3, the so-called "cleaning up" vaccination against measles started in Russia. Additional doses of drugs were brought to the polyclinics. Those who missed the vaccination according to the calendar or do not know about their immune status are called for vaccination.

The Moscow Department of Health gave "NI" the following explanation:

"The measles virus is transmitted by airborne droplets, it is very volatile: the probability of infection of an unvaccinated person in contact with a sick person is 100%. The disease can occur in severe forms, with complications in the form of meningitis, encephalitis, otitis, pneumonia, etc. The first symptoms of measles are often similar to the manifestations of SARS. The only reliable way to protect against measles is vaccination. Measles vaccines, which are used in Moscow, contain a weakened virus that is unable to cause the disease, stimulating the body to form long-term immunity. These vaccines do not cause complications, are safe and time-tested.

You can get vaccinated free of charge at the polyclinic at the place of attachment, and for children – in polyclinics and at the place of study.

When registering a case of measles, the Moscow Department of Health, together with Rospotrebnadzor, promptly conducts a full range of anti-epidemic measures, including vaccination according to epidemic indications of contact persons who have not previously had measles and have not been vaccinated against this infection." 

"Now control will be introduced at state-owned enterprises, in educational institutions, in the MFC, at catering enterprises, in places that are most often visited. In state institutions, as far as I know, employees must provide a document on vaccination or on the presence of antibodies to measles. The same measures have been introduced in medical institutions, medical institutes and colleges. You ask, can we get an epidemic? We can", - said Dmitry Epstein, Vice President of the Moscow Nurses Association.It is probably not worth refusing medical offers about vaccination or testing for antibodies against measles.

  At least in order not to be quarantined later.