In a follow-up on the measles outbreak in France, French health officials report an additional 181 measles cases in the past week, bringing the total to 1,605 cases reported since November 6, 2017 (1,547 cases (95%) reported since January 1, 2018).
72 departments reported cases, up from 69 during the last report.
51% of cases (n = 819) are reported in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region, the only region in an epidemic situation. 87% of measles cases occurred in unvaccinated or poorly vaccinated individuals.
Public Health France recalls the need for a very high vaccination coverage in the population (at least 95% with two doses of vaccine in children and young adults). Such collective protection would eliminate the disease and its complications and thus also protect the most fragile people who can not be vaccinated themselves (infants under one year of age, pregnant women, immunocompromised people). It is therefore imperative that all persons born after 1980 have received two doses of vaccine.
Measles is a highly contagious virus that is spread through the air. The measles virus can live for up to two hours in the air where an infected person has coughed or sneezed. Symptoms include fever, a red blotchy rash, red watery eyes, and white spots in the mouth. Symptoms can appear approximately 10 to 14 days after exposure, and in some cases up to 21 days after exposure.
People can still become ill with measles if they have been immunized, but it may be a milder form. Infants under one year of age, pregnant women and people with weakened immune systems can suffer severe complications.
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