WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 2016

ECDC assesses measles outbreak aboard Mediterranean cruise ship

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control recently performed a rapid risk assessment of a measles outbreak aboard the Costa Pacifica cruise ship and gave health recommendations for gaining control of the outbreak.

The outbreak began on February 27 when approximately 40 crew members of the ship showed symptoms congruent with measles infection. The ship left Palma de Mallorca, Spain, and docked in Civitavecchia, Italy. There were no new reported infections and no reported infections involving passengers as of Wednesday.

To maintain control over the outbreak, the ECDC recommended all persons with an onset of measles symptoms, including cough, runny nose, red eyes, fever and rash, seek medical attention immediately. Persons who are currently asymptomatic may not be by next week, as measles has a long incubation period. To address this, the CDC recommended all persons aboard the ship get vaccinated against measles if they have not yet done so.

The ECDC also recommended that incoming passengers and crew members receive a warning that there is a possibility of measles exposure aboard the ship.

Measles is a highly contagious disease. The most effective preventative measures against measles infection is the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine, given in two doses.