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Measles Outbreak in Romania

29 Oct 2016

A media reportLink of 29 October asserts that the Romanian Ministry of Health has reported approximately 1000 measles cases in 2016, of which 6 cases have been fatal. In 2015, Romanian health officials reported only 7 measles cases for the entire year and no fatalities were reported.

The surge in measles cases has been attributed to anti-vaccination campaigns, with those who oppose the vaccination against measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) falsely claiming that the vaccine causes autism.

Measles is a highly infectious viral illness; it may be more severe in teenagers and adults, and can sometimes lead to serious complications. Situations where people mix closely with each other provide the ideal place for the measles to spread.

Advice for Travellers

Young people who missed their MMR vaccines as children are vulnerable. It should be confirmed that children and young people have received their recommended doses of MMR at 12-13 months of age and again pre-school around 3 years 6 months. Unimmunised adults who have not had the disease themselves may consider vaccination if thought to be at risk.

Two doses of MMR vaccine are required to give adequate protection.