Measles in Europe

Released: December 05, 2017


Original Publication date: August 16, 2017

Why is Measles a risk for travellers?

Measles is common in many countries around the world and is one of the leading causes of death in young children. Measles circulates in most regions of the world including Africa, Asia and Europe.

In Canada, reported cases of measles orginate from travellers. Once measles arrives in Canada with an infected traveller, it can then be spread to groups of people who are not vaccinated and cause an outbreak.

Travellers are at an increased risk of measles infection when:

Where is measles a concern?

Highest number of measles cases reported in European countries (2017):

Cases of measles have also been reported in: Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bulgaria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. 

What is Measles?

Measles is a highly contagious disease. It can spread quickly from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air.

Early symptoms of measles include small, white spots inside the mouth and throat. After 3 to 7 days, a red blotchy rash develops on the face and spreads down the body. Measles can be contagious from 4 days before and after the rash appears.

How can you protect yourself from measles?

Consult a health care provider or visit a travel health clinic six weeks before you travel.

Be sure that your routine vaccines are up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.

Get vaccinated for measles

Travellers should make sure they have received two doses of the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) or measles-mumps-rubella-varicella (MMRV) immunization, regardless of their travel destination.

Wash your hands frequently

Practise proper cough and sneeze etiquette:

Monitor your health

Registration of Canadians Abroad

Sign up with the Registration of Canadians Abroad  service to stay connected with the Government of Canada in case of an emergency abroad or an emergency at home . 

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