Aug 28, 2018 Entertainment Comments Off on Travelers urged to get measles vaccination as cases soar in Europe
Taipei, As cases of measles have reached a 10-year high in Europe this year, Taiwan's Centers for Disease Control (CDC) on Tuesday urged people planning to visit countries in the region to take precautions, including getting vaccinated against the disease.
From January to June this year, 41,000 cases of measles were recorded in the European region, more than any 12-month period this decade, CDC Deputy Director-General Philip Lo (???) said, citing figures compiled by the World Health Organization (WHO).
Ukraine has been the hardest-hit among the 53 European countries covered in the WHO analysis, with more than 23,000 cases so far in 2018, followed by Serbia with 5,000 cases. France, Greece, Italy, Russia and Georgia have each recorded more than 1,000 infections.
Meanwhile, measles cases have continued to spread in the United Kingdom, with about 800 cases reported so far this year, including 30 percent recorded in London, while Romania has reported about 600 cases.
With measles outbreaks continuing to grow in Russia and Georgia, the CDC has issued a Level 1 Watch travel notice for measles for those two countries.
Low MMR vaccination rates are to blame for the huge surge in the number of cases, Lo said, adding that Europe's immunization rate for the necessary second MMR vaccine was 90 percent in 2017, up from 88 percent in 2016, but still lower than the WHO recommended level of 95 percent coverage.
Lo said that aside from Eastern Europe and Russia, people wanting to travel to France, the United Kingdom, Greece and Italy should take precautions to prevent the spread of measles from Europe to Taiwan.
Chen Wan-ching (???), a doctor with the CDC, said that the MMR vaccine, which provides immunization against measles, mumps and rubella, is generally administered to children around the age of one year, and parents should not bring their babies younger than one year to an area where there has been an outbreak of measles.
If they have to carry their babies aged 6-12 months to such an area, they should make sure they receive the MMR vaccine before departure, Chen added.
Measles is highly contagious and spreads from person to person through the air when an infected person breathes, coughs or sneezes or by touching an infected surface.
Symptoms may begin with a high fever, cough, runny nose or red and watery eyes. After three to five days, a rash will usually appear, according to the CDC.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel
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