10. May 2012 10:25
There is currently an outbreak of Measles in the Merseyside area. It’s the largest outbreak here in the UK in nearly 30 years. More than 30% of those affected are aged over 15 years. MMR (measles, mumps and rubella vaccine) is offered to all children by the GP surgery at age 1 and as a preschool booster. Older children may not have been protected for these illnesses if parents declined the vaccine at that time- it had received media attention linking it to autism- this research has since been disproven and the Doctor responsible was struck off by the General Medical Council. Some 15-29 year olds may have received only a single dose and could still be at risk unless they can remember being given a catch up dose as a teenager or in University. Protection for measles mumps and rubella is no longer available via single injections, but as the combined MMR vaccine.
Other parts of Europe and countries further afield have also been having a tough time with Measles outbreaks in the last few months. Other countries are advising that people make sure they are up to date with MMR in order to visit the UK for the Olympics, due to the UK outbreak as this illness will spread very easily in crowded conditions. The NHS site Fit For Travel are advising we do the same before travelling to Poland or the Ukraine for the UEFA European Football Championship, as there has been over 31,000 cases of measles in Europe in 2011.
India, Nigeria, Cameroon, the USA, Uganda and Russia are all countries reporting recent measles outbreaks. Measles is a highly infectious viral disease, spread through inhaling infected droplets, or transferring infected droplets to our faces with our hands after touching contaminated surfaces. It will cause a fever, rash, aches and pains, but can be very unpleasant and may lead to serious complications, including blindness and even death.
Please contact The Travel Clinic Ltd if you would like more info about any of these diseases, are likely to travel to a hotspot area, or are concerned you do not have protection on 01223 367362 or firstname.lastname@example.org