Turkish university on alert after nine students diagnosed with measles
Salim Uzun – ANTALYA
Akdeniz University in the Mediterranean city of Antalya is on alert as nine students have been confirmed to have contracted measles.
The outbreak first emerged after two foreign students were diagnosed with measles upon their return from abroad.
As a result of a comprehensive scanning in the university, which hosts 73,000 students in total, seven more students were understood to have measles.
The confirmed cases have put the university on alert, with all faculties announcing that they will launch measles vaccinations and students sharing their concerns on social media.
Akdeniz University Secretary General Ali Serinoğlu said the university has “already responded to the incident with all necessary medical measures.”
Authorities from the Antalya Provincial Directorate of Health also said there is “no need to worry about public health” as they are monitoring the process meticulously.
Rising anti-vaccination tendencies and a potential measles epidemic have been recently a matter of discussion in Turkey, with several experts warning that if the anti-vaccination trend gains pace it may have serious consequences including an epidemic.
Prof. Dr. Mehmet Ceyhan, a member of the Health Ministry’s immunization advisory board, said a total of 23,000 parents refused to have their children vaccinated in 2017 and if this figure rises to 50,000 Turkey “may face a measles epidemic.”
According to Ceyhan, 85 children were diagnosed with measles in 2017 and four of those have been vaccinated.
Past experiences suggest that if an epidemic breaks out, 100 out of 1,000 children with measles will need to be treated at hospitals.