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More than 60 babies may have been exposed to Gothenburg measles infection

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More than 60 babies may have been exposed to Gothenburg measles infection
A sign warning hospital visitors of measles. Photo: Thomas Johansson/TT
12:28 CET+01:00
More than 60 newborns in Gothenburg are being offered antibodies after a hospital worker contracted the measles – the 12th confirmed infection in less than a month in the city.

It was confirmed late on Tuesday that an employee of Östra sjukhuset in Gothenburg – part of Sahlgrenska University Hospital – who had been to the maternity ward had the measles.

The worker was at the ward on December 28th and 29th, when 54 children were born.

"We're contacting the families affected and offer them to bring the child to a special room at the hospital to be treated with immunoglobulin," Sahlgrenska hospital chief Görel Nergelius told TT.

The worker has not been to the neonatal ward, but has been in contact with other staff who have been to both wards, so protective antibodies are also being given to nine premature babies.

"The risk is very small, but there is a theoretical risk that some of the children have been infected and we have to act on that," said Nergelius.

The hospital expected to treat all children affected last night and on Wednesday.

Since the first case of measles was confirmed on December 10th, the hospital has been trying to track down those who may have been infected. Many are believed to have been exposed to the virus, but only a limited number of infections are expected as most Swedes are vaccinated against measles.

Health officials have urged those who are not vaccinated to get the measles jab, but have told people who believe they may have been infected to stay at home and contact health advice hotline 1177.

The first symptoms are high fever, a severe cough and red eyes, followed by a rash.

Sweden has offered vaccination against measles since 1971 and as part of the MMR jab (measles, mumps and rubella) since 1982. More than 97 percent of two-year-olds are today vaccinated.

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