UK tourists warned over 'outbreak' in 17 European countries with three places 'worst'

A warning has been issued to holidaymakers over measles outbreaks in 17 European countries. There were 1,293 confirmed cases of the highly infectious disease in 17 countries in April alone with three countries in the European Union named worst.

Austria has 43 cases, with 76 in Belgium, two in Croatia, five in Cyprus, three in Denmark, one in Estonia and 71 in France, as well as three in Greece, two in Hungary, nine in Ireland, alongside five in Lithuania, 12 in the Netherlands, 84 in Poland, seven in Portugal, 957 in Romania, eight in Spain, five in Sweden and 1293 in total.

"If you have plans to go to Europe this summer, don’t spoil your holiday by running the risk of an attack of measles which might result in hospitalisation," Professor Helen Bedford, from University College London, told The Sun. "Cases are rising in popular holiday destinations such as Spain.

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"Measles is incredibly infectious and can also be very serious, particularly in young children and in adults. The only way to protect yourself and your children against measles is by vaccination." Prof Bedford said: "There is still time to have the two doses of MMR needed for best protection.

"There is no upper age limit to have this vaccine." Measles usually starts with cold-like symptoms, followed by a rash a few days later. Some people may also get small spots in their mouth. The first symptoms of measles include a high temperature, a runny or blocked nose and sneezing.

It includes a cough and red, sore, watery eyes. If you're not sure it's measles, the NHS adds: "It's very unlikely to be measles if you've had both doses of the MMR vaccine or you've had measles before." The spots of the measles rash are sometimes raised and join together to form blotchy patches. They're not usually itchy.