According to Greek health officials, 3250 cases of measles, including four deaths, have been reported between January 1 and August 23 amid an ongoing measles outbreak in the country. The most affected area is southern Greece.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a measles travel watch for the country in December 2017, urging anyone traveling to Greece to ensure that they have been vaccinated against measles to avoid further spread of the disease.
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. 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). A vaccine is available.
Individuals in or planning travel to Greece are advised to ensure their 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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