News Alerts

16 Jun 2018 | 06:54 PM UTC

United Kingdom: Measles outbreak reported in several English cities

United Kingdom News Alert

Measles outbreak reported in several English cities; over 50 cases reported in Leeds, Liverpool, and Birmingham

TIMEFRAME expected from 12/23/2017, 12:00 AM until 12/24/2017, 11:59 PM (Europe/London). COUNTRY/REGION England

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Event

An ongoing measles outbreak has been reported in several English cities, prompting the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to issue a measles travel watch for England on Wednesday, December 20. The CDC has urged anyone traveling to England to ensure that they have been vaccinated against measles to avoid further spread of the disease. According to English health authorities, over 50 measles cases have been recorded in Leeds, Liverpool, and Birmingham so far in the current outbreak, which authorities warn may increase in the coming weeks.

Context

In addition to issuing a measles travel watch for the UK, the CDC issued a measles watch for several other European countries in 2017, including Italy, Romania, Ukraine, and, most recently, Greece.

Measles is a highly contagious viral disease that typically affects mostly children. It is transmitted via droplets from the nose, mouth, or throat of infected persons. The disease remains one of the leading causes of death among young children globally, despite the availability of a safe and effective vaccine.

Symptoms of measles are usually a high fever, which begins approximately ten to 12 days after exposure to the virus and lasts four to seven days. A runny nose, a cough, red and watery eyes, and small white spots inside the cheeks can develop in the initial stage. After several days, a rash erupts, usually on the face and upper neck. Over about three days, the rash spreads, eventually reaching the hands and feet. The rash lasts for five to six days and then fades. On average, the rash occurs 14 days after exposure to the virus (within a range of seven to 18 days).

Advice

Individuals in or planning travel to the United Kingdom are advised to ensure their measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccinations are up to date and to contact their doctor with any questions or concerns. Anyone experiencing the above symptoms is urged to seek immediate medical attention.

 

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