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Measles outbreak in Europe, WHO says

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Measles outbreak in Europe, WHO says

2011-04-22 06:20:36 GMT+7 (ICT)

GENEVA (BNO NEWS) -- The World Health Organization said Thursday investigations confirmed that Europe has been hit by a major outbreak of measles, a press release said.

The Geneva-based organization said, as of April 18, 33 countries in Europe have reported more than 6,500 measles cases. France has reported 4,937 cases from January to March 2011, compared to 5,090 cases reported in all of 2010.

Spain has reported two ongoing measles outbreaks since October 2010, with more than 600 cases reported in Andalusia. In the first outbreak, the most affected areas were Sevilla and surrounding municipalities, while the second outbreak was reported in the province of Granada.

In addition, Belgium has reported 100 cases to date, compared to 40 cases in all of 2010. Outbreaks were also reported in Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Romania, Russia, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Bulgaria, Serbia, Macedonia, and Turkey.

The organization said travel increases the risk for exposure to measles virus and its further spread. Thus, it encouraged health authorities to advocate for immunization before travel and to provide immunizations through health systems' services according to existing national immunization schedules.

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-- © BNO News All rights reserved 2011-04-22

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