According to CBS News, the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) has reported more than 14,000 cases of measles in Europe since January 2016. Measles symptoms include a cough, high fever, rash, runny nose, and red/watery eyes. Some people also experience diarrhea, an ear infection or a serious lung infection such as pneumonia. In 2017 alone, measles has been reported in 15 European countries: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.
The CDC is urging US travelers to make sure they’re vaccinated against measles infection since it could have devastating consequences when returning home.
“Measles is incredibly contagious. Ninety percent of non-immune individuals will become ill with measles if they’re exposed,” Emily Hyle, M.D., an infectious disease physician at Massachusetts General Hospital and lead author of that study, told CBS News in May when it was published. “And that exposure can be as minimal as walking into a room up until two hours after somebody infected with measles has been there.”
It takes time to complete the vaccine series so be sure to go to the doctor at least four to six weeks before a trip.
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