World Bulletin / News Desk
Health Minister Recep Akdağ announced that his ministry has launched an investigation into measles cases that are have recently emerged in İstanbul, while denying the outbreak of an epidemic in the country.
Responding to questions from reporters about whether Turkey faces a measles epidemic because 24 people have contracted the illness in İstanbul, Akdağ said the ministry is investigating the cases and will take the necessary measures to prevent an epidemic.
"There is currently no measles epidemic in Turkey, but we need to take the necessary measures to prevent a possible epidemic," he said.
Akdağ said the first reported measles case was on Jan. 13 and was an employee working in a jewelry shop in İstanbul that mostly serves tourists.
Since measles cases are generally seen among individuals between the ages of 20 and 35, Akdağ said people in this age group can be vaccinated as a precaution.
Recalling that there have been many measles epidemics in Turkey that have affected thousands of people, he said the number of measles cases has dropped significantly since 2006 thanks to the ministry's vaccination program.
He said there were between four and seven measles cases in Turkey between 2007 and 2010, and all were carried to Turkey from abroad.
Akdağ said he once noted, "Measles has been eliminated in Turkey, but we fear its spread from Europe."
Last Mod: 23 Şubat 2011, 17:20