SPANISH health officials have reported twelve cases of measles in Barcelona.
The twelve cases diagnosed so far are linked to the same person who became infected in China in January.
Measles was eradicated from Spain in 2000. However, sporadic outbreaks still occur.
According to epidemiologist Dr. Antoni Trilla, “It is not unusual to see the virus circulating from time to time despite the MMR vaccine, especially among young adults or under 30 poorly vaccinated”.
Measles is a highly contagious viral disease, which affects mostly children. It is transmitted via droplets from the nose, mouth or throat of infected persons.
Initial symptoms, which usually appear 10–12 days after infection, include high fever, runny nose, bloodshot eyes, and tiny white spots on the inside of the mouth.
Several days later, a rash develops, starting on the face and upper neck and gradually spreading downwards.
There is no specific treatment for measles and most people recover within 2–3 weeks.
However, measles can cause serious complications, including blindness, encephalitis, severe diarrhea, ear infection and pneumonia – particularly in malnourished children and people with reduced immunity.