Measles outbreaks have been on the rise in European nations since 2017, but the number of cases of the disease have risen dramatically and to a point of concern in just the first half of this year.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared as of August 2019 that the United Kingdom, the Czech Republic, Greece and Albania are no longer considered to be countries that have eradicated measles. Measles is considered eradicated in a country when there is no endemic transmission for 12 months in that country.
Almost 365,000 cases of measles have been reported in the first half 0f 2019 worldwide – this is almost thrice the number of cases reported in the first half of 2018.
The UK and Ukraine in Europe, along with Madagascar and the Democratic Republic of Congo in Africa have been some of the countries that have reported disproportionately high numbers of measles cases this year.
Vaccine coverage rate in the UK and the other three countries that have been stripped of their measles-free status is “extremely high”, according to Kate O’Brien of WHO’s Immunisation Department. However, this is insufficient to protect the population against outbreaks of measles and it is necessary that every single child and individual receives the complete course of the Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccine.
If you are travelling to Europe and have not been vaccinated against measles, have received incomplete vaccination (1 dose), or are unsure about your vaccination status, it is highly recommended that you get an MMR jab before your travels. Measles is a highly contagious disease and can be spread easily, especially in crowded areas and bustling cities.
A mistrust in vaccines has been linked to lower vaccination rates in some European countries, which is then linked to the resurgence of measles cases. It is of utmost importance therefore, that you do your part in preventing measles epidemics in European countries and back home, in Singapore.
Get your MMR jab to protect yourself from being the next victim to measles. Call 8754 4101 to make an appointment or book online now!