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Travel health information for people travelling abroad from the UK

Measles Outbreaks in Africa

20 Sep 2017

Measles continues to be transmitted in Africa, with the potential for further spread.

Democratic Republic of the Congo has reported 30 211 suspected measles cases, including 370 deaths from 1 January to 22 August 2017. 

Liberia has reported 1 048 suspected measles cases between 1 January and 27 August.

Nigeria has reported 16 833 suspected measles cases including 101 deaths between 1 January and 20 August 2017. 

Somalia has reported nearly 16 000 suspected cases between 1 January and 31 August,

South Africa has reported 133 cases of measles from 1 January to 18 August 2017. Most have been reported from Gauteng (68 cases), Western Cape (31 cases) and KwaZulu-Natal
(19 cases).

South Sudan has reported 1 025 measles cases and 24 deaths between 1 January and 31 August 2017.

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.