Has Wimbledon Issued a Measles Warning?
Wimbledon tennis traditions include Strawberries and cream, all-white player dress code, but not measles
Public Health England (PHE) has launched a Twitter campaign named #StopTheSpread advising the public to ensure they are protected from measles this summer.
The PHE Twitter post includes a message saying ‘get festival ready’ by seeing a general practitioner (GP) regarding measles vaccinations.
This digital awareness campaign is related to the ongoing measles outbreak in the greater London area.
According to the PHE, between January 1st and May 31, 2018, there have been 587 laboratory-confirmed measles cases reported in London (213), the South East (128), West Midlands (81), South West (62), and Yorkshire and Humberside (53).
This measles outbreak is mainly associated with international travel to and from Europe, where there are large, ongoing measles outbreaks in several countries, says the PHE.
In the London area, PHE protection teams are working closely with local health authorities to raise measles prevention awareness with anyone planning to travel to Europe by offering the NaTHNaC travel health advice.
Since measles is very infectious and is easily spread from person-to-person in close settings, such as tennis tournaments, why hasn’t the PHE expanded their #StopTheSpread campaign to include the tennis community?
PHE could emulate the FIFA World Cup soccer measles alert issued 2 weeks in advance of its starting date.
The Championships Wimbledon will soon be attracting thousands of Europeans visitors to London beginning July 2, 2018.
Dr. Mary Ramsay, Head of Immunisation at PHE, said in a press release, “The majority of cases we are seeing are in teenagers and young adults who missed out on their MMR vaccine when they were children.”
“Anyone who missed out on their MMR vaccine in the past or are unsure if they had 2 doses, should contact their GP practice to catch-up,” said Dr. Ramsay.
To increase American awareness, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a Watch Level 1 Alert for measles in England.
The CDC says travelers to England should make sure they are vaccinated against measles with the MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccine.
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 this link.
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.