Di, 23. April 2019
10.04.2019 18:04

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Case of the measles

Bus traffic comes to a halt in Klagenfurt

After a bus driver from Klagenfurt contracted the measles, authorities decided on Wednesday to take a drastic measure: bus traffic was stopped immediately in the entire Carinthian capital in order to prevent further infections. All drivers were required to submit to vaccination checks and the vehicles in question were cleaned and disinfected. In the meantime, some buses are running again - albeit at hourly intervals. Buses are scheduled to resume full operation on Thursday.

The Klagenfurt health office and the federal state of Carinthia gave the order for a temporary suspension of bus services. All drivers working for the Klagenfurt Mobil GmbH were examined to exclude a possible contagion and their vaccination status was recorded. The city buses were ventilated and disinfected.

New hotline
Possible further measures to prevent the infection from spreading are under discussion. In addition, a telephone hotline has been set up where callers can ask for the latest information.

Two suspected cases
The bus driver in question contracted the measles on April 3rd, and was working on April 1st and 2nd. It is likely that he would have infected passengers during this time. There are two suspected cases already, one concerning a four-year-old child living in Klagenfurt and one in the district of Ferlach.

Patients advised to stay home
Anyone who fears they may have been infected with the measles should stay home and phone their general practictioner. The Klagenfurt health department will administer vaccinations against the measles on Thursday April 11th, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., as well as Friday April 12th, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. This service is offered free of charge.

High risk of contagion
Almost anyone who is exposed to the measles virus will catch it if they are not vaccinated. The measles are one of the most contagious diseases in existence. The virus can be spread through sneezing, coughing, or even just talking, and it is airborne even across larger distances. Once you contract the measles, you are usually immune - the infection generally only happens once.

In late 2018, the World Health Organization warned that the number of infections was increasing rapidly. In 2017, there was an increase in reported cases by 30% as compared to the year before, the organization warned. The infection is easily preventable through vaccination.

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