UK tourists on holiday in Tenerife warned as outbreak could 'rapidly spread'

British tourists on Playa de Torviscas beach in Tenerife
-Credit: (Image: Humphrey Nemar/ dailystar)

Tenerife's Health Ministry has sounded the alarm after confirming a measles outbreak on the popular holiday island. The health body confirmed that while only four individuals have been infected by measles so far, the disease has the potential to spread rapidly among the population.

The four cases include an unvaccinated young girl, two infants who were not old enough for their first dose, and a vaccinated young adult. Following the outbreak, over 400 contacts of the four patients are being monitored and advised on what steps to take if they start showing symptoms.

Measles is a highly contagious viral illness that can cause symptoms similar to a cold such as a high temperature, sneezing, a cough, and a runny or blocked nose according to the NHS. In some cases, it can also cause a rash.


Despite the concern, the Canarian Weekly reported that there was little need for public alarm as Tenerife boasts a high vaccination rate against measles. Under current vaccination rules, children receive their first dose after a year and their second dose at the age of three.

The measles outbreak in Tenerife comes as the peak holiday season kicks off and thousands of tourists from the UK and around the globe begin to descend on the Canary Islands for some sun, reports the Express.

Residents of the Canary Islands have recently expressed their frustration with the influx of tourists, taking to the streets in significant numbers to protest.

The situation has been worsened by a severe drought on Tenerife, prompting local authorities to hike water rates for hotels and holiday accommodations to ensure residents and farmers get priority. Tenerife's government declared a drought emergency at the beginning of March following an exceptionally dry winter, with experts cautioning that the island could be facing a prolonged period of water shortage.

Tenerife's president, Rosa Davila, said: "It cannot be in this situation that golf courses pay the same price for water as farmers and livestock breeders. We are doing this to prevent water supply problems over the next four years."

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