BREAKING NEWS Rochester Public Schools: A mix of in-class learning for some, distance learning for others Full Story

Measles vaccine recommended for those attending World Cup

The 2018 FIFA World Cup is kicking off in Russia in only a week. Soccer fans may be eager to catch a glimpse of Crist...

Posted: Jun 6, 2018 12:31 PM
Updated: Jun 6, 2018 12:31 PM

The 2018 FIFA World Cup is kicking off in Russia in only a week. Soccer fans may be eager to catch a glimpse of Cristiano Ronaldo and other world-renowned players, but there's one thing they definitely don't want to catch: measles.

Measles is a highly infectious -- and potentially fatal -- viral illness that is typically spread by breathing or coughing. Waning levels of vaccine coverage in recent years have led to outbreaks across parts of Europe, including Russia, according to Robb Butler, program manager for vaccine-preventable diseases at the World Health Organization's Regional Office for Europe.

Measles is a highly infectious respiratory virus that affects millions every year

Outbreaks have increased across parts of Eastern Europe

"Over the last decade, we've certainly seen a resurgence of vaccine preventable diseases in the European region, and measles is one of them," Butler said. "In 2017, we had a fourfold increase (in measles), and that seems to be continuing into 2018."

In 2017, over 20,000 people across Europe were infected with the virus, resulting in at least 35 deaths. Among the hardest-hit nations were Ukraine and Romania. Romania reported over 5,000 cases in 2017, according to Butler.

Russia has also been heavily affected by the recent outbreak, with more than 800 cases reported in 2018. There have been no measles-related deaths reported there this year, according to Butler.

"We do have measles circulating in the Russian Federation at the moment," Butler said. "And that really stresses the importance of vulnerability and the risk that everybody runs if they do not check their status and get vaccinated."

Children and adults who are traveling to Russia for the World Cup -- which takes place between June 14 and July 15 -- should therefore make sure that they have received two doses of the measles vaccine, he said.

"At the World Cup, we have countries that are endemic to measles and many countries that have recently had large-scale outbreaks, such as Germany and Brazil. So it's very important that individuals check their status before they travel," he said.

Symptoms of measles include a runny nose, high fever, eye inflammation and a rash that starts on the face and spreads to the rest of the body. Complications such as blindness, brain inflammation and even death can occur in approximately 30% of cases, according to WHO.

The disease is also highly contagious, according to Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease specialist at the Vanderbilt School of Medicine.

"Measles is the most highly infectious virus that we know of and can be transmitted fairly readily to susceptible individuals," Schaffner said. "The measles virus can hover in the air and be infectious for hours afterward."

For those who become ill, treatment normally consists of symptom management, according to Schaffner.

"What you have to do is, first of all, manage their airway and give them good fluid replacement so they don't get dehydrated," Schaffner said. "And if they're beginning to get pneumonia -- that's frequently a complicated bacterial pneumonia -- they would need antibiotics in that circumstance, as well."

The measles vaccine is often given as part of the combined measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine. The vaccine is typically given in two doses in early childhood. Adults who do not have immunity to the disease should also receive the vaccine, according to Dr. Diane Griffin, a professor of molecular microbiology and immunology at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

"We actually have a fairly substantial proportion of people who are adults who do not have a history of measles as a child and may have missed getting two doses of the vaccine because that recommendation is relatively recent," Griffin said.

One dose of the vaccine is about 93% effective at preventing measles if the person is exposed to the virus, while two doses are about 97% effective, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Though the disease is no longer endemic in the United States, an outbreak in 2014 affected about 125 people, most of whom did not have the full two-dose vaccination series, according to the CDC.

Measles was once a widespread disease that killed 2 million to 3 million people worldwide every year, according to WHO. The prevalence dropped dramatically after the introduction of the vaccine in 1963, according to Griffin.

However, due to a combination of factors -- including the anti-vaccine movement and a deterioration in some health systems -- outbreaks have increased over the past decade, Butler said.

"Measles is particularly alarming because, not only does it indicate that we've got susceptible populations ... but also, it's a good proxy indicator for failures in health care delivery, because measles is incredibly contagious, and it really does expose any weakness in health systems," Butler said.

And due to the high density of people attending from different countries, the World Cup could provide a perfect environment for a measles outbreak, according to Griffin.

"Big sports events have huge numbers of people that come from all over the world," Griffin said. "And all you need is one or two people that are incubating measles, and they can spread it fairly easily in all the different places that people go."

Consequently, those planning to attend the games should make sure to get the vaccine if they are not already immunized, to protect both themselves and others in their home communities, according to Butler.

"It's very important that individuals check their status before they travel so they don't contract the disease at the World Cup or, worse, that they don't bring it into their home communities and import it into countries that may have already eliminated the disease," Butler said.

"But it's important that everybody make sure they are vaccinated, whether they are going to the World Cup or not," he added.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 58640

Reported Deaths: 1677
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin18641828
Ramsey7233261
Dakota4188104
Anoka3515114
Stearns286420
Washington200944
Nobles17536
Olmsted168823
Scott147918
Mower10942
Rice10138
Blue Earth8745
Wright8475
Carver8162
Clay76840
Sherburne7037
Kandiyohi6871
St. Louis48619
Todd4222
Lyon4213
Freeborn3581
Steele3381
Nicollet32913
Benton3153
Watonwan3010
Winona25416
Crow Wing22514
Beltrami2150
Le Sueur2101
Martin2045
Chisago1891
Goodhue1878
Otter Tail1853
Cottonwood1750
Becker1501
McLeod1480
Pipestone1479
Polk1453
Waseca1380
Douglas1360
Itasca13512
Carlton1320
Unassigned13241
Pine1280
Dodge1250
Murray1221
Isanti1160
Chippewa1011
Wabasha870
Brown862
Meeker852
Morrison851
Faribault830
Sibley822
Rock770
Koochiching743
Pennington731
Jackson720
Cass712
Mille Lacs693
Renville625
Fillmore610
Lincoln540
Grant523
Swift521
Yellow Medicine510
Pope460
Roseau460
Houston410
Norman370
Kanabec321
Redwood320
Wilkin323
Hubbard300
Aitkin291
Marshall290
Mahnomen261
Wadena240
Red Lake230
Big Stone220
Lake200
Stevens170
Clearwater150
Traverse100
Lac qui Parle60
Kittson30
Cook20
Lake of the Woods10

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 47424

Reported Deaths: 910
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk10032206
Woodbury369151
Black Hawk308463
Linn227987
Johnson202116
Dallas184635
Buena Vista179112
Scott165514
Dubuque162331
Marshall142525
Pottawattamie128426
Story114114
Wapello87233
Muscatine84048
Webster7727
Crawford7263
Sioux6143
Cerro Gordo59617
Warren5471
Tama54529
Jasper46626
Wright4551
Plymouth4528
Louisa38014
Dickinson3774
Clinton3623
Washington29310
Boone2442
Hamilton2441
Franklin2339
Bremer2037
Clarke1953
Emmet1882
Carroll1851
Shelby1771
Clay1761
Hardin1730
Marion1620
Allamakee1544
Poweshiek1538
Des Moines1522
Jackson1481
Benton1461
Floyd1432
Mahaska13917
Guthrie1315
Cedar1281
Jones1272
Buchanan1231
Hancock1212
Butler1192
Henry1193
Pocahontas1151
Madison1142
Lyon1092
Lee1073
Cherokee1031
Clayton1023
Harrison1020
Humboldt1001
Delaware991
Taylor960
Iowa941
Monona910
Winneshiek911
Mills850
Page850
Calhoun832
Kossuth830
Sac820
Fayette810
Jefferson800
Palo Alto800
Osceola790
Mitchell780
Winnebago770
Grundy761
Union751
Monroe697
Worth650
Lucas574
Chickasaw540
Montgomery534
Davis521
Cass501
Howard490
Appanoose473
Greene390
Fremont370
Van Buren341
Keokuk331
Ida290
Audubon281
Adair270
Decatur230
Ringgold211
Wayne191
Adams160
Unassigned30
Rochester
Scattered Clouds
77° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 79°
Mason City
Broken Clouds
80° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 83°
Albert Lea
Clear
81° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 84°
Austin
Scattered Clouds
81° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 84°
Charles City
Overcast
79° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 81°
Warming temps and rain inbound
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

Image

Giving your best volunteer of the month

Image

Sara's 6pm Forecast - Friday

Image

Developing Broadband for Telecommuting

Image

Solar Panel Project at NIACC

Image

City Works to Clear Out Homeless Encampment

Image

WWII Planes at Mason City Airport

Image

Relay for Life Tomorrow

Image

Cascade Lake Beach Reopens

Image

RPS Announces Plan for 2020-21 School Year

Image

Seans Weather 8/7

Community Events