Measles travel warnings have included more European countries

Measles travel warnings have included more European countries

Worldwide, 19 cases of measles per 1 million people are reported every year. The disease remains common in many places in the world, including Europe, Africa, and Asia.  Recently, Rome has been fighting the worst epidemic of measles in recent years. This year, the number of cases reported was six times last year. 

The Public Health Agency of Canada has warned travelers about ensuring they have had a measles vaccination before traveling to a list of European countries. The agency's first health warning about Europe was last year.  This year, more European countries have been added to the long list.  The most recent additions were Latvia, Macedonia, Montenegro, and Norway in August last year.

According to a travel bulletin issued on March 5, 2018, these are the countries that have had the most cases of measles:

  • Germany
  • Italy
  • Romania
  • Ukraine

Measles is a highly-contagious disease that can be easily transmitted through the contact with an infected person or droplets of water in the air.  The most noticeable symptom is a red rash all over the body and it can be potentially deadly.  

In recent years, there has been an outburst of the disease in Europe due to the refusal of many people to vaccinate their children. In 2017, the number of cases was almost four times that of the year before. It was 21,000 cases compared to the 5,273 cases in 2016.

Besides the four countries listed above, these are the other European countries that visitors should have a measles vaccination before visiting:  Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bulgaria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.