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Institute measles warning

More Danes should be vaccinated against measles

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Statens Seruminstituttet says that Denmark may face outbreaks of measles if more Danes are not vaccinated against the disease.

The institute’s warning comes in the wake of statistics showing a drop in the number of vaccinations in 2011.

The relatively low number of vaccinations resulted in Denmark experiencing its biggest outbreak of measles over for 16 years. Eighty-four people contracted the disease, half of whom became so ill they required hospitalisation.

All Danish children have been offered the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine since 1987, but one in ten children are not vaccinated.

Seruminstituttet says that busy parents often simply forget to ask their doctor for the vaccine.

Other countries in Europe have a similar problem. Most recently Denmark’s foreign ministry has updated its travel advisory for Ukraine prior to the European Soccer Championships, in connection with a major outbreak of measles.

The World Health Organisation warned last year that Europe is facing an explosion in the number of cases of measles unless something is done to curb its spread.

In the first nine months of 2011 some 36 countries in Western Europe reported a total of 26,000 cases of measles resulting in nine deaths. Seven of the victims were children.

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