The need for up-to-date MMR vaccine

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The National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC) has issued a reminder that travellers should check they are up to date with the measles vaccine.

The disease continues to spread across Europe – due in part, it is believed, to suboptimal vaccination coverage. Localised outbreaks linked to European travel continue to be reported in England and Wales.

A total of 14,600 measles cases were reported to the European surveillance system between 1 January and 31 December 2017, which is more than triple the number of reported cases in 2016 and 2015.

In 2017, most cases were reported by Romania (5,608), Italy (5,098), Greece (967), Germany (929) and France (518).

Advice for travellers is to ensure they are up-to-date with all currently recommended UK vaccinations, including measles, mumps and rubella (MMR), which is especially important for travellers to Europe but advised for all travellers as increased measles cases are being reported internationally.

NaTHNaC said that measles is easily passed from person to person and can be a serious illness in adults and children, and that it is never too late to have the vaccine. It also said that travellers may wish to consider carrying a record documenting vaccination against MMR when travelling abroad.