Cases rise in measles epidemic in Brazil

Measles vaccine

According to government data, the measles epidemic currently affecting Brazil’s northern states of Amazonas and Roirama has reached a total number of cases of 2,192 and has caused 12 deaths. The data also show that another almost 8,000 cases are still to be confirmed. Reactive vaccination campaigns that have been ongoing since the beginning of the year are continuing.

In neighbouring country Argentina, measles reports are many times lower but health authorities in Buenos Aires are concerned about the ‘active viral circulation’ occurring in two health districts, and said that ‘at least three transmission chains were identified, without having been able to find the source of infection in any of them’.

Advice for travellers is that they should check their immunisation status for measles – the disease occurs in developed and developing countries and unvaccinated travellers are at particular risk. Although infection tends to be benign in many cases, it can result in severe illness, or even death.