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Measles cases rising in Europe

19 May 2011 11:36

About 90% of unvaccinated people who are exposed to measles get sick

About 90% of unvaccinated people who are exposed to measles get sick

Measles cases are rising in countries such as France, Germany, Belgium, Romania and even some parts of the USA.

According to Californian health authorities, the rise is driven by non-immunised people becoming infected after travelling abroad as well as infected foreigners travelling from abroad and infecting local people.

This highlights the need for cost-effective medical travel insurance policies that cover expenses incurred due to injuries and sickness while abroad.

The World Health Organisation, which thought the world was close to eradicating measles, has now postponed the target date to 2015.

Most experts believe the date is far too early to accomplish the target.

Measles, one of the most contagious viral diseases, is prevalent in many parts of Asia and Africa and about 90% of unvaccinated people exposed to measles get sick.

Large outbreaks of the disease were reported in Zimbabwe, Zambia, South Africa, Nigeria, Malawi, Lesotho, Ethiopia, and Angola last year.

More than 2000 cases have been reported this year in the Philippines.

The disease is spread through respiratory particles, especially when people sneeze and cough. However, the virus is capable of surviving for up to two hours on dry surfaces.

On average, one-third of patients who are infected develop complications, which can be life-threatening.

Complications may include pneumonia, ear infections, serious diarrhea, acute encephalitis, and corneal ulcerations which can lead to corneal scarring.