Fourth child at Hague daycare diagnosed with measles

Another child that attends a daycare center in The Hague was diagnosed with measles. That brings the total number of children with measles at the daycare up to four, GGD Haaglanden reported. The health service would not say which daycare center is involved, Omroep West reports.

Last week the GGD reported that three children were diagnosed with the highly contagious disease. A fourth child was sick, but the diagnosis had not yet been confirmed. It is believed that one of the children picked the virus up abroad and spread it to the other children. According to newspaper AD, none of the first three children were vaccinated against measles, though two of them were eligible for the vaccination.

The GGD is currently investigating whether the measles spread any further. "No new cases are known, but the contact investigation is still ongoing", a spokesperson said according to NOS. 

Measles is caused by a virus that is spread with coughing and sneezing. One sick child can infect at least 10 other people who never had measles or haven't been vaccinated against the disease. Measles usually starts with a high fever, cough and red eyes. The disease is also usually accompanied with a rash on the cheeks, face, neck and torso. In 5 to 10 percent of measles cases, patients develop ear infections which sometimes result in permanent hearing loss, according to NOS. 1 to 5 percent develop pneumonia. Occasionally measles can lead to an acute brain inflammation that can cause permanent damage. 

In the Netherlands children are vaccinated against measles twice, when they are 14 months old and when they are 9 years old. Up until the start of April, there have been 15 cases of measles in the Netherlands this year. In previous years, the country counted between 10 and 20 measles diagnoses over the entire year, State Secretary Paul Blokhuis said in a letter to parliament last week. 

The D66 called on the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, to make haste with a law that will allow childcare institutions to refuse children who haven't been vaccinated.