The number of cases of measles reported from Turkey has increased dramatically from 2012 to 2013, prompting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to put out a travel notice Dec. 13, advising travelers to the transcontinental country to take precautions to prevent contracting the viral disease.
According to data from the World Health Organization (WHO), as of Sept. 10, Turkey has reported 6,983 confirmed measles cases.
This is dramatically up from the 2012 total of approximately 700 cases.
The CDC advises that many cases have occurred in the southern provinces of the country.
Most measles cases in the United States are considered imported, brought in via international travel. Because of this, the federal health agency advises travelers to Turkey and other areas of the world where measles is still an issue, to ensure your measles vaccinations are up to date.
In addition, health officials advise traveler to practice good hygiene such as handwashing, the use of hand sanitizer and keeping fingers away from the face.
Measles or rubeola, is an acute highly communicable viral disease that is characterized by Koplik spots in the cheek or tongue very early in the disease. A couple of days later a red blotchy rash appears first on the face, and then spreads, lasting 4-7 days. Other symptoms include fever, cough and red watery eyes. The patient may be contagious from four days prior to the rash appearance to four days after rash appearance.
The disease is more severe in infants and adults. Complications from measles which is reported in up to 20% of people infected include; seizures, pneumonia, deafness and encephalitis.
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