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Euro 2012 Ukraine measles warning

04 June 2012 10:09

Fans have been warned about a measles outbreak in Ukraine

Fans have been warned about a measles outbreak in Ukraine

A measles "epidemic" in the Ukraine had led to the UK's Health Protection Agency (HPA) urging fans attending the Euro 2012 football championship there this summer to get vaccinated against the disease.

The tournament will be jointly hosted by Poland and thousands of supporters from across Europe will descend on the two countries when it begins in early June.

A total of 173 measles cases have been reported in the Ukraine so far this year, and the HPA expects the outbreak to continue.

In a statement it said: "'There have been vaccine shortages in Ukraine since 2010 and more than one million children are unvaccinated, therefore the epidemic is expected to accelerate and spread geographically during the measles peak transmission season from February to June."

The warning underlines the importance of taking out medical travel insurance to help guard against the risk of illness when abroad.

The UK has also witnessed a significant outbreak this year, particularly on Merseyside, with the East of England, London and the West Midlands also witnessing small clusters of the disease.

HPA figures show the total number of cases so far in 2012 stand at 446, a jump of 22%. This is 79 more than the 367 reported in the same period last year.