Measles alert for kids travelling to Europe

Roshina Jowaheer

Brits travelling to Europe this Easter are being warned of a huge outbreak of measles and have been urged to vaccinate their children against the illness.

6,500 cases of measles have been reported across Europe with France having the largest outbreak, the World Health Organisation said.

The country reported 4,937 cases between January and March this year, compared to the figure for the whole of 2010, which was 5,090.

Italy, Germany and Bulgaria have also had large outbreaks of the bug and rising numbers of cases have been reported in Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Romania and Switzerland.

World Health Organisation officials blamed the outbreak on a failure to have all children vaccinated against the highly infectious illness.

90 per cent of the population needs to be vaccinated to prevent it from spreading but numbers of people having the jab across Europe in recent years has been inconsistent.

In Spain, where a huge number of Brits will be travelling to this Easter, 600 cases were found in Andalusia.

The Travel Clinic's Mary Kedward told the Daily Mail: 'I would not discourage anyone from travelling abroad – but I would make sure people are aware of the risks.

'Those over the age of 20 and babies under one are most at risk, and should go to their GPs and get vaccinated. I would encourage people to get the MMR vaccine before they travel,' she advised.

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