Measles has been reported in increased numbers in several European counties, most notably Romania. In addition to Romania, Belgium, Italy and Germany has been affected by measles into 2017.
This has prompted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to issue new travel notices for the above countries.
In Belgium, through Mar. 31, Wallonia reported 266 measles cases. The outbreak affects all provinces of Wallonia, with the exception of the province of Luxembourg. All age groups are affected and 53% of cases are over 15 years. Most of the cases were not vaccinated or did not know their vaccination status. Nearly 40% were hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.
In Italy, since the beginning of 2017 and as of 4 April 2017, Italy reported 1,333 cases of measles, with 131 cases among healthcare workers. The cases are reported from 19 of the 21 regions in Italy. A majority of the cases (93%) are from Piedmont, Lazio, Lombardy, Tuscany, Abruzzi and Sicily. Most of the cases are above 15 years and 88% of the cases were not vaccinated.
According to the German National Public Health Institute, since the beginning of 2017 and as of 12 March 2017, Germany reported 272 cases. In the same period in 2016, Germany reported 18 cases.
CDC recommends that travelers to Belgium, Italy and Germany protect themselves by making sure they are vaccinated against measles. Getting measles vaccine is particularly important for infants 6–11 months of age (1 dose of measles vaccine) and children 1 year of age or older (2 doses of measles vaccine). Clinicians should keep measles in mind when treating patients with fever and rash, especially if the patient has recently traveled internationally.
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