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Travel health information for people travelling abroad from the UK

Measles Outbreaks in Europe (Update 2)

18 Jul 2017

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control reports that measles transmission continues in several European countries. As of 12 July 2017, 35 deaths have occurred from measles during the current outbreaks.

Affected countries with updates since 7 July 2017:

Bulgaria: 14 cases have been reported since 7 July, bringing the total from 1 January 2017 to 9 July 2017 to 162 cases.

Finland: On 27 June 2017, a case of measles was reported in an Italian citizen working at an international camp from 19 to 25 June 2017. On 4 July 2017, a further 2 cases linked to this camp were reported in unvaccinated siblings. On 13 July 2017 another case was linked to the same transmission chain.

Germany: 14 cases have been reported since 7 July 2017. Up to 5 July 2017, the total for was 780 cases. In the equivalent period in 2016, Germany reported 146 cases.

Italy: 155 cases have been reported since 7 July 2017. Up to 11 July 2017 there have been 3 501 cases, including two deaths. 255 cases are healthcare workers. 89% of cases were unvaccinated and 6% had received only one dose of vaccine.

Romania: There have been 156 cases since 7 July 2017. Between 1 January 2016 and 7 July 2017, there were 7 647 cases, including 31 deaths. 41 out of 42 districts have reported cases. Timis, near the border with Serbia, is the most affected district with 1 174 cases. Vaccination activities are ongoing.

Spain: Between 1 January 2017 and 9 July 2017, Spain reported 138 cases.

United Kingdom: Between 1 June 2017 and 12 July 2017, 8 cases have been reported in the Newport and Torfaen areas of South Wales. 17 cases were reported in England in the first three months of 2017. A small number of cases has been reported in Northern Ireland up to 6 July 2017. No cases have been reported in Scotland.

Advice for Travellers

Travel may increase an individual’s risk of exposure to measles virus, and facilitate the spread of disease to unvaccinated and susceptible populations. Two doses of MMR vaccine, at least one month apart, are required to give adequate protection.

It should be confirmed that children have received their recommended doses of MMR at 12-13 months of age and again pre-school around 3 years 4 months. Unvaccinated adults who have not had measles themselves should seek advice from a healthcare professional regarding measles vaccination.

For further information see Measles