The World Health Organization (WHO) has released a new report stating that in the first six months of 2018 alone, there have been more than 41,000 people affected with measles in Europe. This has resulted in 37 deaths.
When you compare this with stats from prior years, you’ll see a bleak picture start to form. In 2016 there were only 5,273 cases, which jumped up to 23,927 cases in 2017. Experts state that this increase is a result of people choosing not to vaccinate because of a misplaced fear of autism.
Things to Know
Outbreaks have a tendency to spread, so it is important to be up to date about how measles can be acquired and what symptoms to look out for. Measles is highly contagious and people can become infected from simple coughs and sneezes. The infection typically lasts 7-10 days and most people will recover completely.
Unfortunately it can cause serious complications for others, including liver infections, febrile convulsions, infection and swelling of the brain, pneumonia and meningitis.
If you experience any of the symptoms below, you should see your doctor immediately to help rule out measles and to make sure you’re getting the proper treatment to help avoid having complications develop.
- Watery red eyes
- Grey spots inside the mouth
- Runny nose and sneezing
- Raised red spots that start around the hairline and spread further down the body.
- Signs that your body is fighting infection, such as a fever, loss of appetite, muscle aches and tiredness.
If you’d like to help lessen the chance of you or a loved one from developing measles, it is important to make sure that you’ve had an MMR vaccination and that it is up to date. Children should receive this shot around their first birthday and again when they start school.
Teenagers and young adults who didn’t get the MMR vaccine in the past have been the ones most affected by these recent outbreaks. People are being encouraged to avoid traveling to countries experiencing these outbreaks, especially when around large festivals or any area younger people might gather.