Sweden has reported their first case of measles that is linked to the large European outbreak, which includes an outbreak in Germany, according to Swedish media.


The report states the patient, who was unvaccinated, is reported to have been infected during a trip to Germany. Germany is one of seven countries in Europe battling the measles outbreak that has affected more than 22,000 since the beginning of 2014 (Germany has reported 1,091 cases).

“It was fairly expected that we would have cases here. If you are not vaccinated and spend time in airports or in large crowds for example in Europe or the United States then you run the risk of being infected,”  said Leif Dotevall, a specialist physician in Västra Götaland.

Health experts in Bosnia, where more than 5,300 measles case have been reported, are blaming the large number of cases of the contagious viral infection on the growing the anti-vaccination lobby and several years of war that contributed to vaccines not being available, according to an Associated Press report.

“I am increasingly hearing from parents about their fears due to the stuff they read on the Internet,” Dr. Gordana Banduka, a pediatrician from Pale, near Sarajevo, told The Associated Press. The vaccination rate in the country is down to 87 percent.  Because measles is extremely contagious and can spread through the air, for example, the immunity threshold needed to protect a community is high, at 95%.

The measles virus causes a fever, rash, cough, red watery eyes and a runny nose. The red rash starts on the face and spreads to the rest of the body. Most people with measles are sick for up to 10 days and then recover completely. Symptoms are more severe for infants and adults. Measles can lead to ear infections, lung infection (pneumonia), an infection of the brain (encephalitis), and death. Pregnant women with measles can have premature delivery and miscarriages. Measles does not cause birth defects.

Measles is easily spread when an infected person coughs or sneezes, spreading droplets that contain the virus into the air. Less commonly, particles from an infected person can stay in the air for long periods of time and infect others in the same room. Measles is one of the easiest viruses to spread from person to person.

Related: How contagious is measles? Answer: Very

People infected with measles can spread it to others 4 days before to 4 days after the rash appears.