Wimbledon Fails to Follow FIFA’s Measles Prevention Leadership

Public Health England issued an alert reporting 738 confirmed measle cases

grass court final, stadium

Prior to the start of the FIFA World Cup soccer tournament in Russia, the World Health Organization (WHO) issued a measles alert advising attendees to ensure their measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccination was current.

This precautionary WHO alert was based upon Russia reporting over 600 measles cases during 2018.

In contrast, on July 2, 2018, Public Health England (PHE) issued an alert reporting 738 confirmed measle cases.

Which leads to the question, why hasn’t PHE extended their #StopTheSpread of measles Twitter campaign to include the tennis community gathering this week at Wimbledon?

The All England Lawn and Tennis & Croquet facility located within the London measles hot-zone is hosting the Championships, Wimbledon.

Since the beginning of 2018, the areas of London (262), South-East (154), South-West (109), West Midlands (84) and Yorkshire and Humberside (76) have reported the most measles cases.

Dr. Mary Ramsay, Head of Immunisation at PHE, said in a press release, “In the early 2000s there was a fall in MMR vaccination coverage in children and as a consequence, we are now seeing measles cases in young adults.”

“Measles is circulating in England and the rest of Europe. We often think about what travel-related vaccines we might need before going on holiday, but it’s also important to check that we are up to date with routine vaccinations like MMR,” said Dr. Ramsay.

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To increase American awareness of the UK and European measles outbreaks, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a Watch Level 1 Alert for international travelers on May 2, 2018.

This CDC alert means Americans traveling to England should speak with a healthcare provider regarding their measles immunization status, before departing on a trip.

In the USA, two approved measles vaccines are available, MMR-II and ProQuad.

International travelers can request a vaccine appointment with a pharmacy at Vax-Before-Travel.

The CDC Vaccine Price List provides the private sector vaccine prices for general information, and vaccine discounts can be found here.

Vaccines, like any medicine, can have side effects, says the CDC. You are encouraged to report negative side effects of vaccines to the FDA or CDC.