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Travel health information for people travelling abroad from the UK

Measles in Spain

17 Feb 2017

On the 12 February 2017 a mediaLink report advised that health officials in Catalonia have confirmed 12 measles cases in young adults in Barcelona. The 12 cases have been linked to the same primary case who was infected in China in early January 2017.

Measles is a highly infectious viral illness; it may be more severe in teenagers and adults, and can sometimes lead to serious complications. Situations where people mix closely with each other provide the ideal place for the measles to spread. People are urged to be aware of the symptoms of measles, such as a high fever and rash, and to avoid attending public events if they are unwell.

Advice for Travellers

Young people who missed their MMR vaccines as children are vulnerable, especially if gathered in large numbers at an event. It should be confirmed that children and young people have received their recommended doses of MMR at 12-13 months of age and again pre-school around 3 years 6 months. Unimmunised adults who have not had the disease themselves may consider vaccination if thought to be at risk. Two doses of MMR vaccine are required to give adequate protection.