Measles in Europe

Updated: August 16, 2017

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.

Measles can be easily prevented by a safe and cost-effective vaccine. In Canada, the measles vaccine is part of our routine vaccinations.

Where is measles a concern?

Measles is still circulating in many parts of the world, including Europe. The following European countries have reported cases of measles in 2017: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom. Information on global measles activity can be found here.

Why should you be concerned?

Measles is one of the leading causes of death in young children worldwide. You are at an increased risk of the measles infection if you have not had the illness, or have not received both of the two recommended doses of vaccine. 

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

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