Schools remain closed in the Lori region, as
the mumps epidemic continues to affect schoolchildren
in the region.
On November 3, schools were ordered closed for
one week, in hopes of combating the childhood-disease
spread. But, with more incidence of cases, the
school closer has been extended through this week,
with schools schedule to resume classes Monday
"This time kindergartens of the region have
been closed as well, and it's not clear whether
they will resume November 24 or not," says
head of the national immunization project of Armenia,
deputy director of the center for disease control
and prevention at the Ministry of Health Sirak
Some 550 cases of mumps have been registered
in Lori since September.
"It is mainly the school age children who
get parotitis (mumps)," says the Head of
the Regional Anti-epidemic and Sanitation Department
of Lori Karineh Mirzoyan. "The season for
parotitis is autumn, and the infection mainly
spreads in schools through respiratory airways
due to children interaction. For that reason,
in order to avoid spreading of the epidemic, it
was appropriate to close the schools. This is
normal, and there is no need to make a fuss."
Sukiasyan adds, however, that previous vaccination
methods (each child getting a shot at age 18-months)
proved unsuccessful. Plus, because of a shortage
of vaccines, a considerable number of children
were not vaccinated.
"One of the main reasons for the current
situation is poor quality of the vaccine. Special
thermal conditions were required for the vaccine
preservation, which the doctors failed to create
due to hard conditions," Sukiasyan says.
The deputy director says that children who are
now age 11 to 14 are particularly vulnerable because
of ineffective vaccines. But Sukiasyan assures
that the situation is stabilizing.