Outbreak of Victorian disease sparks urgent warning for Brits heading on holiday

The World Health Organisation has issued an urgent warning to British holidaymakers after a shocking in rise in measles has been reported around the world.

The alert comes after 17 countries – most of which are based in Europe – confirmed a rise in cases of the Victorian disease.

As families jet off on holiday this weekend for the end-of-term holidays ahead of the final stint of the school year, the WHO has urged everyone to be vigilant.

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Although concern was first officially expressed in April, it was noted that a rise in cases was reported in Russia, Turkey, Austria, Serbia and even the UK.

According to the NHS, symptoms of measles include a high temperature, runny or blocked nose, sneezing, a cough, red/sore or watery eyes and white spots in the mouth followed by a rash all over the body a few days later.

Dr Jose Hagan, the WHO's team lead for vaccine-preventable diseases and immunisations said: “All countries, including those verified as having eliminated endemic transmission of measles, must be vigilant for possible importation and spread of this highly contagious disease.

“Once an outbreak has been confirmed, WHO recommends a series of activities to quickly respond, including case investigation; identification and vaccination of susceptible contacts and others; infection control in health-care settings; and outreach to affected community or population groups to raise awareness and address public concerns.”

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Stats show Tajikistan has the highest number of cases with over 600, followed by Turkey with 466 and the Russian Federation on 414. The UK is fourth with 67, followed by Serbia on 40.

Other nations on the list include Austria, Poland, France and Belgium.

It was reported earlier this year that the UK vaccine uptake for measles was at a 12-year low, with just 85.2% of those eligible for it taking up the offer.

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The lowest area for uptake was in London, as just 74.1% of the public taking the vaccine.

The highest, however, was the North East with 91.3% having the vaccine.

UK health officials claimed that the uptake figures fell during the pandemic.

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