Public Health England (PHE) is urging young people to get vaccinated against measles before traveling to Europe.
According to the Daily Mail, PHE issued a warning for European visitors to check if they’ve had both doses of the MMR vaccination as the infection continues to widely spread. About 643 people in England have been diagnosed with measles this year alone. There are also a number of large outbreaks in other European countries. The number in England is quickly on the rise and has increased by more than half since early May.
PHE says travelers need to be vaccinated because adults who catch measles are more likely than children to end up in the hospital. The World Health Organization recommends that 95% of people must be vaccinated to prevent the infection from spreading. And not just for measles, either. Vaccines have been able to save countless lives from even more countless diseases. In the United States, measles-related deaths have decreased 79% between 2000 and 2014 . And while they are so valuable, many people around the world still choose to not vaccinate their children.
There are many reasons why parents are choosing to not have their children vaccinated. Among them are fear and misinformation. In fact, people fear that vaccinations may lead to issues like autism and bowel disease. Andrew Wakefield, a gastroenterologist, published a scientific paper in 1995 claiming that injecting a person with a ‘dead’ form of the measles via vaccination can cause a disruption to intestinal tissue. Unfortunately, this kind of misinformation has led to a number of people questioning the validity of vaccinations.
In the United Kingdom, childhood immunization levels are at a high. But a few years back in 2003, they were only at 80%. This means that many young adults have not had the immunizations they need. These young adults are now at a higher risk of catching the infection in England during close mixing events like summer festivals or when they travel abroad for summer vacation.
Measles is an extremely infectious disease that can lead to serious complications. It may even lead to death if a person isn’t vaccinated.